At least one person is dead and five injured — four of them critically injured — after a shooting Sunday at a church in Laguna Woods, Calif., the sheriff’s department said.
“All of the victims are adults and are on their way to the hospital,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement. Tweeter Sunday. “One victim died at the scene.”
Another person has minor injuries, the tweet states.
The shooting occurred at the Presbyterian Church in Geneva during a lunch reception honoring a former pastor of a Taiwanese congregation that uses the church for worship services, according to Tom Cramer, a head of the presbytery.
Police have a suspect in custody, Orange County Deputy Sheriff Jeff Hallock said at a Sunday night news conference. It is believed to be an Asian man in his 60s who does not live in the area, Hallock said.
Investigators are working to determine if he has any ties to the church or its followers, according to a statement from the sheriff’s department.
Police do not yet have a motive, Hallock said.
The suspect was arrested at the scene after a group of people at the church were able to tie up his legs with an extension cord and confiscate at least two handguns, Hallock said.
“This group of worshipers displayed what we believe to be exceptional heroism in interfering or intervening to arrest the suspect,” he said.
Authorities said victims injured in the shooting included four Asian men, ages 66, 75, 82 and 92, and an 86-year-old Asian woman.
“The identity of the deceased will be released pending official identification by the coroner and notification of next of kin,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said.
About 30 to 40 people attended the reception, Hallock said.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said his office is “working closely with local law enforcement.”
“No one should be afraid to go to their place of worship. Our hearts go out to the victims, the community and all those affected by this tragic event,” Newsom said in a statement. Tweeter.
The Taiwanese congregation, which became a sister congregation to the Presbyterian Church in Geneva about five or six years ago, still hosts a lunch after its Sunday morning service, Laguna Woods Mayor Pro Tem Cynthia told CNN. Conners.
“We will see what we can do to meet with members of the congregation, we will bring someone from the Orange County Human Rights Commission … and we will try to ensure that Asian members of our community feel as safe as everyone else. other members of our community, although I have to say I think we all feel a little less safe today,” Conners said.
The Taiwanese government said its economic and cultural office in Los Angeles has activated emergency response plans.
“The Foreign Office sends its deepest condolences to the victims and their families,” said Foreign Office spokeswoman Joanne Ou. “We will stay in contact with the family members of the victims to understand their needs and provide any necessary assistance,” she added.