Highlights

  • Attack on Taiwanese church in broad daylight
  • David Chou's hatred for Taiwan drove him to commit deadly attack
  • Several injured in attack

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Chinese immigrant's 'hate' for Taiwanese behind US church attack

1 attendee lost his life trying to disarm David Chou. The suspect drove to the Orange County church secured the doors and started shooting.

A gunman in a deadly attack at a Southern California church was a Chinese immigrant motivated by hate for Taiwanese people, US authorities said.

The shooter killed Dr. John Cheng, 52, and wounded five others during a lunch held by Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which worships at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, authorities said at a Monday news conference.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said the motive of the shooting was a grievance between the shooter, identified as a Chinese immigrant and US citizen, and the Taiwanese community.

China claims Taiwan is a part of its national territory and has not ruled out force to bring the island under its rule.

Barnes said the suspect drove to the Orange County church, where he was not a regular attendee, secured the doors and started shooting.

The gunman had placed four Molotov cocktail-like devices inside the church, the sheriff said.

Barnes said Cheng, survived by a wife and two children, heroically charged at the shooter and attempted to disarm him, allowing others to intervene.

Cheng probably saved the lives "of upwards of dozens of people," the sheriff said.

A pastor hit the gunman on the head with a chair and parishioners hog-tied him with electrical cords.

Also Watch| 10 dead in 'racially motivated' mass shooting in New York supermarket; suspect arrested

But Cheng was hit by gunshots.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department tweeted that David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas has been booked on one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder.

The suspect lawfully purchased the two 9mm pistols in Las Vegas, said Stephen Galloway, ATF Los Angeles assistant special agent in charge.

The suspect made brief comments when he was taken into custody and then asked for an attorney, Barnes said.

Four of the five people wounded suffered critical gunshot injuries.

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