After Fatal Mass Shooting at Calif. Church, Crowd Hogties Suspect

1 killed, 5 injured in Sunday tragedy
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 16, 2022 12:01 AM CDT
Mass Shooting Kills 1 at Taiwanese Luncheon at California Church
A patrol vehicle is seen outside Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, Calif., Sunday, May 15, 2022, after a fatal shooting.   (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(Newser) – A Taiwanese luncheon at a church in southern California's Orange County was attacked Sunday afternoon, leaving one dead and five others injured. There were about 30 to 40 people at the banquet, which took place after morning services at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, when the gunman started shooting, the Los Angeles Times reports. A visiting pastor hit him with a chair and the crowd managed to subdue him, take two firearms from him, and hogtie his legs with extension cords, the Orange County Register reports. The victims were all adults and were mostly Asian, of Taiwanese descent. Four of the wounded, ages 66 to 92, were shot and were hospitalized with critical injuries; the fifth sustained injuries amid the chaotic scene.

"That group of churchgoers displayed what we believe is exceptional heroism and bravery,” Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said. “It’s safe to say that had they not intervened this situation could have been much worse." They were congregants of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which meets at Geneva. A nearby city councilwoman whose parents are members of the church tells the Times many of its congregants have military backgrounds. The suspect is said to be an Asian man in his 60s who may not be from the area; while he told officers he'd visited the church before, churchgoers reportedly said they did not recognize him. No motive has yet been speculated on, including whether the crime might have been hate-related. The man killed was in his 40s and was not a regular member of the church; he was attending the luncheon with his mother. (Read more California stories.)

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