A suspect in a lethal capturing at a church in Laguna Woods, California, doubtless was politically motivated, investigators stated.
“It’s believed the suspect concerned was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan,” Orange County Sheriff Donald Barnes stated at a information convention Monday.
The suspect, David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas was a US citizen who immigrated from China years in the past, in keeping with Barnes.
Not less than one particular person died and 5 have been wounded – together with 4 who’re critically injured – within the capturing Sunday at Geneva Presbyterian Church, the place a sister Taiwanese church worshiped, the sheriff’s division stated.
The suspect is just not believed to have any direct connection to the church or any member of the church, the sheriff stated. Officers stated they consider he acted alone.
Prosecutors are considering charging the suspect with one rely of homicide and 5 counts of tried homicide at his arraignment Tuesday, District Legal professional Todd Spitzer stated.
CNN has not been capable of determine an lawyer for Chou.
The capturing occurred throughout a lunch reception of largely aged congregants to rejoice a pastor of the Taiwanese congregation who was getting back from a mission journey in Taiwan, Barnes stated, and it was heroism on the a part of the person who died that prevented extra bloodshed.
Dr. John Cheng, one of many folks on the reception, charged on the suspect, and “through the wrestle, different parishioners had acquired concerned,” Barnes stated.
A pastor threw a chair on the suspect, and the group was capable of tie him up, Barnes stated.
The parishioners have been capable of hogtie his legs with an extension twine and confiscate at the least two handguns from him, Undersheriff Jeff Hallock stated Sunday.
“That group of churchgoers displayed what we consider is phenomenal heroism in interfering or intervening to cease the suspect,” he stated.
Cheng, 52, was shot, nonetheless, and died on the church.
“Dr. Cheng is a hero on this incident, based mostly on statements from the witnesses and corroborated by different means,” the sheriff stated.
The suspect had secured doorways of the church from the within earlier than he started capturing, Barnes stated. He additionally had a bag of Molotov cocktails and a bag of additional ammunition, in keeping with Barnes.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Los Angeles decided that Chou was the unique purchaser of the 2 firearms recovered on the scene, ATF agent Stephen Galloway stated.
Authorities stated the victims harm within the capturing included 4 Asian males, ages 66, 75, 82 and 92, and one Asian girl age 86.
About 50 folks have been on the reception, stated Barnes.
Gov. Gavin Newsom stated his workplace is “working intently with native regulation enforcement.”
“Nobody ought to should concern going to their place of worship. Our ideas are with the victims, neighborhood, and all these impacted by this tragic occasion,” Newsom said in a tweet.
The Taiwanese Presbyterian Church shared an area with Geneva Presbyterian since 2009, in keeping with the sheriff. It at all times holds a lunch after its Sunday morning service, Laguna Woods Mayor Professional Tem Cynthia Conners informed CNN.
“We’ll see what we are able to do to fulfill with the members of the congregation, we’ll usher in somebody from the Orange County Human Rights Fee … and attempt to guarantee that the Asian members of our neighborhood really feel as protected as all the opposite members of our neighborhood, though I must say I believe all of us really feel rather less protected at this time,” Conners stated.
Taiwan’s authorities stated its financial and cultural workplace in Los Angeles has activated emergency response plans.
“The Ministry of Overseas Affairs sends our deepest condolences to the victims and their households,” Ministry of Overseas Affairs spokesperson Joanne Ou stated. “We’ll keep up a correspondence with the relations of the victims to grasp their wants, and supply all vital assist,” she added.