Trending Now

Gunman who attacked California Taiwanese church, David Chou, 68, faces death penalty for attempting to “execute in cold blood as many people in that room as possible” during mass shooting

Popular Stories

David Chou, 68, a security man from Las Vegas, will be eligible for the death penalty for attempting to “execute in cold blood as many people in that room as possible” Los Angeles DA said Monday

Gunman was said to be an Asian male later identified David Chou, 68, who had no known connection to the church

Chou, during his shooting rampage killed a doctor and wounded five others after opening fire in a California church on Sunday, has been charged with murder

He opened fire during a lunch reception at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, southern California, about 55 miles southeast of Lod Angeles at 1.30pm on Sunday

Six people were struck in total by the gunfire, one of the six, Dr. John Cheng, 52, who has a practice in Aliso Viejo, CA, suffered fatal wounds and died at the scene

Other victims remain unidentified, but were revealed to be four men aged 66, 75, 82 and 92 and one woman, aged 86

He was stopped when he was hit over the  head with a chair by the former pastor of the church, who was visiting from Taiwan

Worshippers at the congregation then hog-tied the shooter, before cops arrived

Chou went on a rampage parishioners were celebrating the visit of their pastor Billy Chang,72

Chou had two 9 mm handguns legally purchased years ago in Las Vegas and three bags, containing four Molotov-cocktail-type incendiary devices and extra ammunition,

The majority of residents at Laguna Woods, California, are seniors, much like the congregation

The shooting occurred at a lunch reception honoring a former pastor of the largely Taiwanese congregation

The gunman, reportedly, “was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan”

David Chou was motivated by hatred for Taiwan, where he was born after his family was forced from mainland China when Communists prevailed in a civil war that ended in 1949

Chou is charged with 10 counts, including first-degree murder, five counts of attempted murder and four counts of possessing destructive devices with the intent to kill or harm

He’s currently jailed on a $1 million bail

The FBI Monday opened a federal hate crime investigation into the shooting against Chou who could face additional charges

Shooter: Taiwanese church shooter David Chou,[photo], 68, of Las Vegas, faces multiple charges in a deadly California church shooting. He
will be eligible for the death penalty for attempting to “execute in cold blood as many people in that room as possible” during the mass shooting, prosecutors said

The gunman who allegedly killed a doctor and wounded five others after opening fire in a California church has been charged with murder. 
David Chou, 68, a security man from Las Vegas, will be eligible for the death penalty for attempting to “execute in cold blood as many people in that room as possible” during the mass shooting, prosecutors said in a statement.
When he was arrested Chou had two 9 mm handguns legally purchased years ago in Las Vegas and three bags, containing four Molotov-cocktail-type incendiary devices and extra ammunition, according to authorities.
“This is not a case that I’m ruling out for death,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said at a press conference on Monday.

Killed: Dr. John Cheng [photo] who has a practice in Aliso Viejo, CA, was killed in the shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, near Los Angeles on May 15. 

The Orange County DA referred to the suspect, David Chou, 68, as a monster whose rampage was thwarted by the heroic actions of a doctor who charged at him, a pastor who hit Chou with a chair and several parishioners who tied him up until police arrived.
“This monster crafted a diabolical plan to lock the church doors with his victims inside in order to lead what he thought were innocent lambs to slaughter,” Spitzer said.
“But what he didn’t realize was the parishioners at the church that day weren’t lambs — they were lions and they fought back against the evil that tried to infiltrate their house of worship.”
Spitzer said Chou was motivated by hatred for Taiwan, where he was born after his family was forced from mainland China when Communists prevailed in a civil war that ended in 1949. He apparently chose the church at random and didn’t know anyone there, authorities said.

Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, southern California

Chou allegedly lurked inside of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods for hours before he chained the doors shut and started shooting worshippers inside.
A hero pastor at a Taiwanese church in Orange County hit a gunman over the head with a chair while his elderly congregants hogtied him and confiscated his weapons after he went on a shooting spree on Sunday afternoon, killing one and injuring five.
The man opened fire during a lunch reception at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, southern California, about 55 miles southeast of Lod Angeles at 1.30pm on Sunday.
“He did everything he could to fit in, to make himself one of them,” Spitzer said.
Chou, a licensed security guard in Nevada, had intended to kill as many people as possible.
“He had the ammunition to do it. He had the weaponry to do it. He had the training to do it,” Spitzer said. Chou is currently jailed on a $1 million bail, according to the prosecutor’s office. He’s charged with 10 counts, including first-degree murder, five counts of attempted murder and four counts of possessing destructive devices with the intent to kill or harm.
The FBI said Monday it has opened a federal hate crime investigation into the shooting against Chou who could face additional charges.

Pastor Billy Chang, [right], 72, hit gunman David Chou with a chair while elderly congregants hogtied him after a shooting at Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church on Sunday, leaving one dead and injuring five, at Christ Our Redeemer Church in Irvine Monday

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes told reporters on Monday that Chou, a US citizen and Chinese national, “was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan.” He said Chou’s hatred toward Taiwan was documented in handwritten notes recovered by investigators.
Chou’s family apparently was among many forcibly removed from mainland China to Taiwan sometime after 1948, Spitzer said on Monday.
Congregants were celebrating a pastor’s return from a mission trip to Taiwan at the time of the shooting. Officials said Chou had driven to southern California on Saturday armed with two legally purchased 9mm handguns. He arrived at the church around 10 a.m. just before the Sunday service began.
He stuck around the church until the early afternoon, where he attended a lunch celebrating the return of the pastor.

Officials pray around former pastor Billy Chang, center, as he tries to hold back his emotions after speaking during a vigil at Christ Our Redeemer Church in Irvine on Monday. Chang helped subdue the shooter

If Chou is convicted and the jury finds the enhancements to be true, he would face a sentence of either life in prison without possibility of parole or the death penalty, Spitzer said.
“This monster crafted a diabolical plan to lock the church doors with his victims inside in order to lead what he thought were innocent lambs to slaughter,” Spitzer said. “But what he didn’t realize was the parishioners at the church that day weren’t lambs — they were lions and they fought back against the evil that tried to infiltrate their house of worship Spitzer said Chou was motivated by hatred for Taiwan, where he was born after his family was forced from mainland China when Communists prevailed in a civil war that ended in 1949. He apparently chose the church at random and didn’t know anyone there, authorities said.

Mourner places flowers at a memorial honoring Dr. John Cheng outside his office building on Tuesday in Aliso Viejo, Calif. Cheng, 52, was killed in Sunday’s shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church.

After the meal, congregants spotted Chou “applying iron chains to start locking the doors shut,” a letter from the church said. When they confronted him about his actions, Chou reportedly refused to respond. “They assumed he was a security guard,” the letter stated.
He then allegedly nailed two other doors shut, the letter says. Cops said the suspect also put superglue in the keyholes before he began shooting.
Dr. John Cheng, 53, a sports medicine specialist and married father of two from Laguna Niguel, was killed after he tackled Chou to try to stop the bloodshed, police and the church said.
“Dr. Cheng is a hero,” Spitzer said Tuesday. “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 parishioners were able to subdue Chou and tied him up with an extension cord until the police arrived.
Longtime congregant at Irvine Jerry Chen, 72 had just stepped into the kitchen of his church’s fellowship hall when he heard the gunshots and saw church members screaming, running and ducking under tables. ‘I knew someone was shooting,’ he said. ‘I was very, very scared. I ran out the kitchen door to call 911.’
Officials said the shooting ended after the gunman killed one man and wounded five senior citizens before worshippers hog-tied his legs with an electrical cord until deputies arrived. Four of the five people wounded suffered critical gunshot injuries.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Congregation-of-Irvine-Taiwanese-Presbyterian-Church-in-Laguna-Woods-California-1.jpg
Members of the congregation were at the hall for a luncheon after morning service to welcome their former Pastor Billy Chang [front row, fourth from right], back after returning to the US from Taiwan for the first time in two years

Chen, who called emergency services from the church’s parking lot, said he was in such a state of shock that he was unable to tell the operator his location. ‘I had to ask someone else for the address,’ he said.
Chen said a group of about 40 congregants had gathered in the fellowship hall for a luncheon after a morning service to welcome their former Pastor Billy Chang, who had served the church for 20 years and was a beloved and respected community member. Chang moved back to Taiwan two years ago. This was his first time back stateside, Chen said.
Everyone had just finished lunch – a special bento box with teriyaki chicken. Chen said: ‘They were taking photos with Pastor Chang. I had just finished my lunch and went into the kitchen.’ That was when he heard the gunshots and ran out.
Soon afterwards, Chen said he heard the details of what happened inside from others who came out. Fellow congregants told him that when the gunman stopped to reload, Pastor Chang hit him on the head with a chair while others moved quickly to grab his gun. They then subdued him and tied him up.Battle of the busty bombshells!
‘It was amazing how brave (Chang) and the others were,’ he said. ‘This is just so sad. I never, ever thought something like this would happen in my church, in my community.’

Chen said a group of about 40 congregants had gathered in the fellowship hall for a luncheon after a morning service to welcome their former Pastor Billy Chang, [center, in black suit], pastor of the church for 20 years was visiting from Taiwan after moving there 2 years prior

Most of the church’s members are elderly, highly educated Taiwanese immigrants, Cheng said. ‘We’re mostly retirees and the average age of our church is 80.’ 
Chen said a group of about 40 congregants had gathered in the fellowship hall for a luncheon after a morning service to welcome their former Pastor Billy Chang
Rev Chang who had served the church for 20 years and was a beloved and respected community member. Chang moved back to Taiwan two years ago.
This was his first time back stateside.
Longtime congregant at Irvine Jerry Chen, 72 had just stepped into the kitchen of his church’s fellowship hall when he heard the gunshots and saw church members screaming, running and ducking under tables

Pastor Billy Chang, 70, hit the gunman who invaded the Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods [photo] with a chair while elderly congregants hogtied him after shooting spree on Sunday afternoon, leaving one dead and injuring five

The shooter, later identified as David Chou of Las Vegas, opened fire during a lunch reception at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, southern California, about 55 miles southeast of Los Angeles at 1.30pm on Sunday. Longtime congregant at Irvine Jerry Chen, 72 had just stepped into the kitchen of his church’s fellowship hall when he heard the gunshots and saw church members screaming, running and ducking under tables
A motive for the shooting has not yet been disclosed, but investigators don’t believe the gunman, an Asian man in his 60s whose name was not immediately released, lives in the community

Investigators gather outside the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, on Sunday after a fatal shooting

Those wounded by gunshots included four Asian men, ages 66, 75, 82 and 92, and an 86-year-old Asian woman, the sheriff’s department said. Authorities originally said only four of the five surviving victims had been shot.
It is understood that the gunman, who is now in police custody, got into the church by saying he had attended services before, Chen said.
About 40 parishioners witnessed the violence – but those who were present also helped to prevent further bloodshed by overpowering the shooter and tying him up. 
The group reportedly confiscated his weapons and restrained him until police arrived on the scene. 
Police say those involved ‘showed exceptional heroism and bravery in detaining the suspect.’
‘That 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,’ Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said. ‘I think it’s safe to say that had people not intervened, it could have been much worse.’ 
Two handguns were found on the shooter and were quickly removed.

A number of people have been shot at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods

It’s not clear exactly how the parishioners were able to subdue the man, but as soon as they had him on the ground, they tied his arms and legs with electrical or extension cords, Hallock explained. 
One person suffered fatal wounds and died at the scene at the church. Four of the other victims were critically wounded – while a fifth suffered minor injuries. 
All of the victims were adults and have been revealed to be four men aged 66, 75, 82 and 92 and one woman, aged 86.
Two of them were taken to Providence Mission Hospital, the medical center confirmed. Another victim was transported to UC Irvine Medical Center, and two more were transported to Orange County Global Medical Center, including a 92-year-old man who was grazed by a bullet.
The majority of those inside the church were believed to be of Taiwanese descent and had gathered to honor a former pastor of the church with a lunch reception after Sunday morning’s service.
A motive for the shooting, which took place in an auditorium called Simpson Hall, rather than the main auditorium where services are normally held, wasn’t immediately known – but investigators said they don’t believe the gunman lives in the community.
Sheriff John Mina said police were still working to determine a motive and do not know whether it was a ‘hate-related’ incident. 
Mina also said that it was not known whether the suspect had any connections to the church or whether any victims had been targeted. 
‘Until we do that, we won’t really have a good idea if he was known to the congregants,’ Hallock said. 

A lone bystander views the entrance of the Geneva Presbyterian Church where yellow police tape marks the location of the shooting

Investigators from the the FBI, ATF together with Orange County law enforcement are looking at many factors, including whether the attack could be a hate crime and whether the gunman was known to the church community.
‘Initial reports indicate that one person was killed, and several others were severely injured. Please keep the leadership of the Taiwanese congregation and Geneva in your prayers as they care for the those traumatized by this shooting. In your mercy, O Lord, we pray.’ a statement from the diocese read.
The surrounding city of 18,000 consists of Laguna Woods Village, a large retirement community for people 55 and older formerly known as Leisure World. More than 80% of residents in the city are at least 65 years old, according to demographic data.

A motive for the shooting, which took place in an auditorium called Simpson Hall, rather than the main auditorium where services are normally held, wasn’t immediately known – but investigators said they don’t believe the gunman lives in the community (some of the congregation is pictured, with pastor Billy Chang pictured from front row, eight from right)

Cynthia Conners, the mayor pro tem in Laguna Woods, said on Sunday that she is a member of the church and had attended services that morning. A Taiwanese group typically use the church later in the morning. 
‘I could not even imagine something like this could happen here,’ said Charlotte Hseih, a church organist to the New York Times. ‘I’m just as shocked as anybody.’ 
A motive for the shooting, which took place in an auditorium called Simpson Hall, rather than the main auditorium where services are normally held, wasn’t immediately known – but investigators said they don’t believe the gunman lives in the community

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Police-after-shooting-in-the-Irvine-Taiwanese-Presbyterian-Church-in-Laguna-Woods-California-7.jpg
Police are seen investigating after a shooting inside Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods. One person was killed and four people were ‘critically’ injured in a shooting at the church near Los Angeles
Church goers are seen as police investigate after a shooting inside Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods. Many of those present were of Taiwanese descent
Jeff Hallock, Orange County Sheriff’s Department undersheriff speaks to the media after the deadly shooting
Police investigate the scene of a shooting at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California. Law enforcement agencies from across the spectrum including the ATF, FBI and Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. were on site
Police hail heroic churchgoers who detained shooter

The incident occurred in an area with a cluster of houses of worship, including Catholic, Lutheran and Methodist churches and a Jewish synagogue.  
On its website, Geneva Presbyterian Church describes its mission as ‘to remember, tell, and live the way of Jesus by being just, kind, and humble.’
‘All are welcome here. Really, we mean that! … Geneva aspires to be an inclusive congregation worshipping, learning, connecting, giving and serving together.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: