According to multiple sources, most especially the Orange County Sheriff Department, it was learned that on Sunday afternoon, that five people were wounded in a Laguna Woods church shooting and that one person was killed.
This tragic event occurred at the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church gathering in Laguna Hills, California. Parishioners there, shared the building with Geneva Presbyterian Church. According to sources after church services, during a function, gun-fire broke out.
Lone gunman and suspect David Wenwei Chou, a 68-year-old Las Vegas resident, who has lived in the US for decades after immigrating here from China, apparently dove from Las Vegas to Laguna Woods in Orange County, specifically to this Taiwanese Church.
It was stated that the church was celebrating the return of a pastor just recently back from Taiwan. There were reportedly about fifty persons in attendance, aging from sixty to ninety years of age.
It has been learned that the suspect was said to be motivated by tensions between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan. It was also stated that he formally worked as a security guard. The Orange County Register reported-
“…Detectives found evidence that Chou “was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan,” Sheriff Don Barnes said, including notes in Chou’s vehicle showing “his hatred of the Taiwanese people.”-Orange County Register
As this sordid story unfolds, it has been reported that this suspect had/took time to secure the church doors with chains and disable church locks with superglue – likely in an attempt to keep parishioners from escaping during his planned attack.
The suspect was armed with more than one gun and apparently from the search made around the building and in his vehicle, located in the parking lot, other munitions were found. This included extra filled gun magazines and Molotov cocktails. His vehicle is currently being processed by the Orange County Crime Lab.
Apparently, the suspect opened fire – causing parishioners to scramble. It was reported that while the suspect was reloading he was heroically rushed by Dr. John Cheng creating the diversion for other members to follow. In the process, Dr. Cheng was shot and died at the scene. Those who worked along-side of him and knew his character said they would not have expected any less of him.
Using whatever was at their disposal, a chair to knock him over and electrical cords to tie him up, the suspect was subdued by the parishioners who pinned him down before the local sheriff’s department arrived and took him into custody.
It was reported that the other parishioners critically shot were mostly elderly, between 60 and 90 years of age. Besides being treated at the scene by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, the Orange County Fire Department was there to administer advanced life-saving treatment, and those wounded were then transported to local trauma centers.
There is an ongoing investigation into this heinous act, perpetrated in an ordinarily safe and sacred place. Neighbors were reportedly shocked, even stunned by this occurrence at this place of worship given to community events and year-round outreach.
California is the most gun-controlled state in the Union. How did that prevent someone from Nevada from coming to the Laguna Woods Community and opening fire? It didn’t.
Guns don’t kill people – people do.
While we grieve Dr. Cheng (a true hero who saved many lives) and pray for the recovery of those who were wounded, we need to remember that this is not a second amendment problem to be politicized – it’s a heart attitude problem, not something that can be legislated.
Gun control keeps firearms out of the hands of the people who need to defend themselves from the likes of Mr. Chao and other would be assailants. It makes law abiding citizens a more reasonable target, because criminals don’t worry about gun control laws.
“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.”– Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776