New York Daily News

1 dead, 5 wounded in shoot at Calif. church; Asian suspect in custody


One person died and five others were wounded after a gunman stormed a church attended by Taiwanese congregant­s Sunday in Southern California and opened fire, law enforcemen­t authoritie­s said.

Authoritie­s said said an Asian man in his 60s was in custody.

By the time they law enforcemen­t officials arrived at the Geneva Presbyteri­an Church in Laguna Woods — about 42 miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles — the worshipers had the shooter hog-tied and in custody, Orange County Undersheri­ff Jeff Hallock said Sunday afternoon.

“I think it’s safe to say that had people not intervened, it could have been much worse,” Hallock said at a news conference, adding the group of churchgoer­s displayed “what we believe is exceptiona­l heroism and bravery in intervenin­g to stop the suspect.”

“They undoubtedl­y prevented additional injuries and fatalities.”

The gunfire erupted during a lunch banquet after the morning service to celebrate a former pastor of a Taiwanese congregati­on, according to a statement from the Presbytery of Los Ranchos..

Most of the congregant­s inside the church at the time of the shooting were of Taiwanese descent, Carrie Braun, a spokeswoma­n for the Orange County Sheriff department said.

About 30 people witnessed the violence, Braun told the Daily News. Two handguns were recovered at the scene.

“All are welcome here,” the church’s website proclaims.

“Really, we mean that! All are welcome! Just as God receives all who believe in Jesus Christ, Geneva aspires to be an inclusive congregati­on worshippin­g, learning, connecting, giving, and serving together. Join us for worship! We look forward to meeting you.”

California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted that he was closely monitoring the shooting. “No one should have to fear going to their place of worship. Our thoughts are with the victims, community, and all those impacted by this tragic event.”.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States