On August 6, 2021, at approximately 7:03 p.m., La Habra Police Dispatch received a 911 call from a female party, reporting that she was being followed and tailgated from her place of work in Laguna Beach. The caller, who was understandably shaken and fearful, was advised by the dispatcher to drive to the front of the La Habra Police Department where she would be met by officers.
Acting on the advice of the dispatcher, the caller made her way to the front of the police station. The subject of her call, 22-year-old Matthew-Tuan Tran, was reportedly still following her closely, and he parked directly behind her upon her arrival at the police station.
Upon arrival, La Habra Police Department (LHPD) officers were immediately alerted to the situation, and they made contact with Tran outside the front doors of the police station. However, what was supposed to be a routine interaction took a dangerous turn when Tran pulled out a firearm and shot at one of the officers, identified as Officer Milward.
Thankfully, Officer Fox was also on the scene and quickly assessed the situation. Upon observing Tran firing at Officer Milward, Officer Fox deployed her own firearm in response, resulting in an officer-involved shooting.
Paramedics with the Los Angeles County Fire Department were called to the scene, and Tran was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 7:26 p.m. Unfortunately, despite the efforts of the paramedics and the officers on the scene, Tran’s actions resulted in Officer Milward being critically injured and transported to the hospital for treatment. Thankfully, Officer Milward was released from the hospital nearly a week later.
The La Habra Police Department is currently conducting an investigation into the incident, and a statement was released expressing their condolences for the loss of Tran’s life and the injury of Officer Milward. This tragic event serves as a reminder of the dangers that law enforcement officers face every day in the line of duty.