Las Vegas Man Identified As Suspect In California Church Shooting

By Bill Galluccio

May 16, 2022

Church Shooting In Southern California Leaves One Dead And 5 Wounded
Photo: Getty Images

Authorities have identified the suspected gunman in a shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, on Sunday (May 15) that left one person dead and five others injured. They were all transported to the hospital, with four of the victims being listed in critical condition.

Providence Mission Hospital said that two patients who were sent there in critical condition have been upgraded to good condition as of Monday. There is no word on the condition of the other three patients.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office said that 68-year-old David Chou of Las Vegas, Nevada, was arraigned on one count of felony murder and five counts of attempted felony murder. A judge set his bail at $1 million.

Chou allegedly stormed into the church during a lunch reception honoring former pastor, Dr. Billy Chang, who was visiting from Taiwan. Members of the congregation quickly jumped into action and subdued Chou, preventing more bloodshed. One witness recounted how Chang struck Chou in the head with a chair as parishioners hog-tied him using electrical cords.

Chang was shot during the attack and lost his life defending the parishioners from the gunman.

Officials called the shooting a hate-related crime that stemmed from political tensions between Taiwan and China. He has no known ties to the church or any individual members of the congregation.

"This was a politically motivated hate incident, a grievance that this individual had between himself and the Taiwanese community," Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said at a news conference.

"Based on preliminary information, it is believed the suspect involved was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan."

Two handguns and several Molotov cocktail-like devices were recovered at the scene.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI are assisting the sheriff's office with the investigation, which is still in the preliminary stages.

A federal hate crime investigation has also been launched.

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