Home World Shooting at Taiwanese church in California that killed 1, wounded 5 investigated as hate crime, FBI says

Shooting at Taiwanese church in California that killed 1, wounded 5 investigated as hate crime, FBI says

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Shooting at Taiwanese church in California that killed 1, wounded 5 investigated as hate crime, FBI says

A church employees member raises police tape for a automobile to exit on the Geneva Presbyterian Church May 16, 2022 after one individual was killed and 5 injured throughout a taking pictures May 15, 2022 on the church in Laguna Woods, California. The taking pictures was motivated by political tensions between China and Taiwan, authorities mentioned Monday, NBC News reported.

Robyn Beck | Afp | Getty Images

A Las Vegas man suspected in Sunday’s taking pictures that left one individual useless and 5 others injured at a gathering of Asian churchgoers in Southern California was motivated by political tensions between China and Taiwan, authorities mentioned Monday.

David Chou, 68, has been booked into jail on beneficial costs of 1 rely of homicide and 5 counts of tried homicide, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department mentioned in an announcement.

Kristi Johnson, the assistant director in control of the FBI’s Los Angeles workplace, mentioned at a information convention Monday afternoon {that a} federal hate crimes investigation had been opened in opposition to Chou to find out whether or not further costs could be introduced.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes mentioned the briefing that the was taking pictures “a politically motived hate incident.” Barnes mentioned Chou, an U.S. citizen from China, “was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan.”

Chou traveled to Southern California on Saturday earlier than the assault Sunday on the church, the place he’s accused of securing doorways with chains and utilizing glue to disable locks. No connection has been established between Chou and the church or any of its parishioners, Barnes mentioned.

The sufferer killed within the assault, Dr. John Cheng, 53, of Laguna Niguel, charged the gunman and tried to disarm him, which led to his being fatally shot, Barnes mentioned.

Cheng was a married father of two who was effectively revered within the area of sports activities drugs, Barnes mentioned.

“Dr. Cheng is a hero,” he mentioned. “It is known that Dr. Cheng charged the individual, the suspect, attempted to disarm him, which allowed other parishioners to then intercede, taking the suspect into custody.”

The taking pictures focused members of Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, Barnes mentioned, which shared an area with Geneva Presbyterian Church.

Congregants have been celebrating the return of a pastor from a mission to Taiwan, Barnes mentioned.

Barnes added that different congregants, who have been aged, additionally risked their lives and confronted the gunman, together with a pastor who threw a chair at him.

“They acted spontaneously, heroically, and if not for their quick action, the way that this individual set up that environment, to kill many more people, there would have been many, many more lives lost,” Barnes mentioned.

Investigators discovered a number of baggage of ammunition within the church, in addition to 4 Molotov cocktail-type incendiary units, Barnes mentioned.

Chou has lived in Texas and labored safety jobs in Las Vegas, Barnes mentioned. Search warrants have been served at his residence in Nevada and at a automobile within the church’s car parking zone, he mentioned.

After Cheng charged him, the gunman was detained by members of the church, who hogtied him with electrical extension cords, the sheriff’s division mentioned.

Stephen Galloway, an assistant particular agent in cost with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, mentioned two 9 mm semi-automatic pistols have been discovered. Chou purchased the weapons in Las Vegas in 2015 and 2017.

Investigators mentioned there isn’t any proof, at this level, that the gunman was working with others. Barnes mentioned Chou had a private grievance with the Taiwanese group.

Sheriff’s officers mentioned about 40 individuals who belong to the Taiwanese church have been on the facility when gunfire broke out.

The gunfire was reported at 1:26 p.m. within the retirement metropolis of Laguna Woods, about 20 miles southeast of Anaheim, the sheriff’s division mentioned.

Four victims suffered essential accidents, they mentioned.

The sheriff’s division recognized the injured victims Sunday evening as Asian Americans ages 66 to 92. Four are males.

The sufferer’s physique was found on the scene, sheriff’s officers mentioned. All of the surviving victims, together with an individual with minor accidents, have been hospitalized.

Two folks admitted to Providence Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo on Sunday have been reported to be in good situation Monday, the hospital mentioned in an announcement.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer mentioned Monday on the information convention that he walked by means of the crime scene — a social corridor arrange with tables and plastic cups — after the carnage.

He mentioned “evil was in the church” Sunday.

“It was obvious from the scene that they had to get out of there as quickly as possible in an utmost panic,” Spitzer mentioned.

Tom Cramer, a co-executive at a community of Orange County Presbyterian church buildings, the Presbytery of Los Ranchos, mentioned the violence befell throughout a luncheon honoring a former pastor of the congregation.

The group “is deeply saddened by a fatal shooting that occurred at a lunch reception,” he mentioned in a assertion.

“Please keep the leadership of the Taiwanese congregation and Geneva in your prayers as they care for those traumatized by this shooting.”

Laguna Woods and Laguna Woods Village are comparatively unique communities for folks 55 and older and their companions or family members. Large elements of it, together with the village, are gated.

The metropolis consists of single-family properties, city homes and apartment-style residences. It opened as Leisure World in 1964 and have become the county’s thirty second metropolis in 1999.

On Friday, police in Dallas mentioned they have been on the lookout for an individual who is perhaps focusing on folks of Asian background in a sequence of shootings.

Three Korean girls have been injured in a taking pictures at a hair salon Wednesday. Police Chief Eddie Garcia mentioned the division was investigating the taking pictures as a hate crime.

Attacks in opposition to Asian Americans have skyrocketed lately.



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