An Oakdale man who shot at random vehicles Monday, resulting in the death of a young boy, was officially charged Wednesday by the Washington County Attorney's Office.
County Attorney Pete Orput announced the filing of multiple charges against Nhan Lap Tran, 34, of Oakdale in the shooting incident near Rainbow Foods.
Nine year old Devin Aryal died from a gunshot wound to the head. Two female victims, including Devin's mother, were also hospitalized with gunshot wounds. Two others had gunshot assaults to their vehicles.
Tran was charged with second-degree intentional murder, second-degree felony murder during an assault, first-degree assault and two counts of assault in the second degree with a dangerous weapon.
Tran made his first appearance in court Wednesday before District Judge Ellen Maas. Bail was set at $2 million. The public defender was appointed and requested a competency and mental health examination, which was ordered.
According to the criminal complaint, Tran stood in the middle of Seventh Street near Hadley Avenue and opened fire with a 9mm handgun on passing motorists.
During the episode, Devin Aryal was fatally wounded, and his mother, Melissa Aryal, was also wounded.
Another driver, 68, was also wounded. She was shot in the hand and in the leg and was hospitalized at Regions Hospital, where her finger was ultimately amputated as a result of gunshot wounds. The woman had her three grandchildren in the vehicle at the time of the shooting who were unharmed.
Two other drivers were shot at in their vehicles but not struck by the gunfire.
The complaint indicates that Tran ultimately surrendered to a Washington County deputy peaceably. He was found to be carrying a 9mm handgun, several spare loaded magazines and numerous extra live rounds for the weapon.
In addition to the gun, officers found a backpack with two large knives in protective sheaths, the complaint states.
Upon questioning, Tran admitted that he was the person that had opened fire on the vehicles. according to the complaint.
He admitted to officers that he reloaded his gun at least once to continue shooting. He also stated that he could have shot at other vehicles if they had been traveling behind the vehicles he already shot, according to the complaint.
"This case is simply a senseless tragedy. We cannot comprehend a situation where a parent loses their child in any manner, much less in this way," said County Attorney Pete Orput. "Our hearts go out to Devin’s family and to the families of all the victims in this case. My office will do all it can to bring justice to all of them, at the same time knowing that it is not enough. However, they deserve no less."
A vigil was held for Devin at Holy Cross Lutheran Church on Tuesday night. Nearly 300 people attended.