1 dead and 5 injured in Laguna Woods Church shooting
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department reports that many persons were shot, with one fatality, at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Sunday.
Before OC Sheriff deputies arrived, others in the church took down the gunman, a 60-year-old Asian male, and tied him up with extension cables, according to OC Undersheriff Jeff Hallock.
“We believe a group of churchgoers detained him and hogtied his legs with an extension cord and confiscated at least two weapons from him. He was detained when the deputies arrived. 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,” Hallock claimed during a press conference at 5 p.m.
Hallock said deputies received a call at 1:26 p.m., according to his records.
In the time it took deputies to arrive, parishioners had already hogtied the suspect and taken him into jail, Hallock claimed during a press conference at 5 p.m. “One or more of the congregates acted quite heroically and jumped in.”
According to him, the gunman is an Asian man in his 60s, but he gave no other details. It was then announced that the shooter’s identity will be made public once he was taken into custody at the Orange County Jail.
Authorities do not believe he resided in the vicinity and are still trying to find out where he lives and what his link to the church was.
Five persons were hurt, with four of them in critical condition, according to authorities. All of the victims were between the ages of 66 and 92, according to a sheriff’s department press statement distributed Sunday night.
According to the church’s website, a service for the Taiwanese community is held every Sunday at 10 a.m.
A considerable number of Taiwanese individuals were present inside the church, but Hallock informed reporters ahead of a press conference at 5 p.m. that he didn’t know what kind of religious service they were attending or even if they were.
Hallock said at the 5 p.m. press briefing that the incident occurred during a dinner.
After the service, “I know it was some type of banquet after the service,”
The motives of the gunman and the weaponry he used are being investigated by federal agents from the FBI and ATF.
FBI Los Angeles assistant director Kristi Johnson stated, “At this time, we’re working very hard to determine the motive,”
At the press conference at 5 p.m., Johnson praised the bravery of those who caught the gunman.
If the shooter was motivated by a criminal act, he or she might face both state and federal penalties, according to Hallock.
The sheriff’s department has ordered the closure of El Toro Road between Calle Sonora and Canyon Wren.