Before a preacher smashed the shooter in the skull with a chair and congregants hog-tied him up with electrical wires, a man opened fire during a lunch reception at a Southern California church.
He ended up killing one member and wounding five older people.
Jerry Chen had just come into the social hall’s kitchen at about 1:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon when he overheard the gunfire.
Chen, a member of Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, peered around the bend and saw others yelling, running, and cowering beneath tables.
Officials claimed the shooter killed a man and wounded five elderly people before believers hog-tied the man’s limbs with a wire until deputies arrived. Four of the five victims who were shot were critically injured.
While the motivation for the shooting has not been revealed, officials believe the gunman does not live in the area.
Our prayers are with the entire Geneva Presbyterian Church Community in the wake of the terrible shooting that took place yesterday. Violence in places of worship will never be tolerated and we send our sympathies to the families of the victims.
— Mike Pence (@Mike_Pence) May 16, 2022
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department, David Chou, who lives in Las Vegas and is 68, has been arrested on suspicion of one count of homicide and five attempted murders.
Chou is being jailed on $1 million bail, according to jail records. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney who can speak on his side.
Chen, who contacted 911 from the building’s car park, claimed he was so dispatcher he couldn’t tell the dispatcher where he was.
He explained, “I had to ask someone for the location.”
After service in the morning, around 40 parishioners gathered inside the community room for a luncheon to greet their senior Pastor Billy Chang, who represented the church for twenty years as a popular, respected member of the community, according to Chen.
Chang went back to Taiwan about two years ago. Chen said that this was his first trip back to the USA.
He described, “We all just finished our lunch. They were getting images with Pastor Chang. I went into the kitchen once I was done eating lunch.”
When he heard gunfire, he bolted outside.
Chen claimed he learned the facts of what transpired inside from someone who came out shortly after.
According to Chen, when the gunman came to a halt to reload, Pastor Chang struck him over the head with a table, while others grabbed the rifle from him. Chen stated they then overpowered him and tied him up.
He recalled Chang and the others as being “amazingly brave.”
The shooting at the church left one dead, five wounded and the surrounding community stunned and in mourning.https://t.co/lJWVaeYPzK
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) May 16, 2022
“This is terrible. I never thought of something like this happening in my church or town.”
According to Chen, the majority of the church’s members are older, well-educated Taiwanese immigrants. “We’re largely retirees, and our church’s average age is 80,” he explained.
The parishioners’ were congratulated for their swift work in apprehending the assailant.
The shooting occurred just one day after an 18-year-old man opened fire at a store in Buffalo, killing ten people.