Self-proclaimed 'warrior' accused of opening fire, holding animal control officer hostage

Brian Tran (PBSO)

A 43-year-old man who called himself a "warrior" and "sniper" is behind bars for allegedly opening fire, threatening police and holding an animal control officer hostage, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said.

Brian Tran is facing charges of aggravated assault with a firearm, false imprisonment while armed and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

On Oct. 8, an Animal Control Officer was sent out to a home on Okeechobee Boulevard to investigate an anonymous complaint about Tran neglecting his dog by not giving it proper shelter, according to the sheriff's office. When she pulled into the driveway, she saw that the gate was open, but didn't enter the property.

Shortly after she arrived, she saw a white minivan speeding toward her, the sheriff's office said. The minivan came to a stop near her front bumper. Tran then got out of the car and aggressively approached her.

The officer rolled down her window and the Tran asked her, "What do you want?" The officer told him about the complaint, prompting Tran to start ranting about his neighbors for calling the cops and Animal Care and Control, according to the sheriff's office.

Then, Tran said he was "going to kill his neighbors and the cops and he hated the cops," the sheriff's office said. He then went onto describe himself as "a warrior, a police officer, a soldier, and a sniper."

Tran then brought the officer into his home, where he said he was "going to kill his neighbors if they want to be his enemy and that he is going to kill all of his enemies," according to the sheriff's office. Tran then pulled out a black pistol, faced the officer, then started rapidly firing the pistol into the ground.

Although Tran didn't point the gun at her, the officer said she was in fear for her life between the shooting and death threat to police and "his enemies," the sheriff's office said. The officer put her hands up and began yelling, "Sir, sir I don't need to see the dog that bad. I need to leave now."

"No, no, no," Tran responded after taking the magazine out of the gun and placing it on a nearby table. "You are going to see this dog."

Tran then lifted his shirt and, with a smirk on his face, showed her a knife tucked into his waistband, the sheriff's office said. He then grabbed the officer by the shoulders and forced her to walk next to him to see the dog.

The officer looked at the dog and told Tran it was fine "because she didn't want to be his enemy," according to the sheriff's office. Tran then began yelling again that he wanted to kill his neighbors, cops and his enemies.

The officer was able to return to her vehicle and contacted the sheriff's office.

When detectives later interviewed Tran, he admitted to being upset with his neighbors and shooting his gun into the ground, but said he didn't touch or threaten the officer, the sheriff's office said. Tran was taken into custody on Oct. 25.

Tran was released from jail the next day after posting bond.