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Police: Anti-Taiwanese hatred fueled church shooting

Worship leaders from a nearby church lay flowers outside the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, Calif., on Sunday. Associated Press/Photo by Damian Dovarganes

Police: Anti-Taiwanese hatred fueled church shooting

David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas, was taken into custody Sunday after opening fire on parishioners of Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which meets at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, Calif. One congregant died in the shooting, and five were wounded, four of whom are still in critical condition. The Orange County sheriff said Monday that officers found notes Chou, a Chinese immigrant, wrote about his hatred of Taiwanese people. The government of mainland China claims sovereignty over the island of Taiwan, which exercises democratic self-rule. 

How did they stop him? About 40 people had gathered for lunch after the morning service when the gunman chained the doors and started shooting. Jerry Chen, a member of the church, had stepped out of the main room but heard the shots and called the police. Officials said that as the shooter was reloading, a former pastor hit the shooter on the head with a chair and others grabbed his gun. Other congregants hog-tied him with electrical cords and waited for the police.

Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read June Cheng’s report on escalating tensions between China and Taiwan.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.


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