A Las Vegas man has been identified as the suspect in Sunday’s shooting that left one dead and five others injured at a gathering of Asian worshipers in Southern California, authorities said Monday.
David Chou, 68, was jailed on one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder, according to a Orange County Sheriff’s Department statement.
Chou was detained by members of the Presbyterian Church of Geneva, who tied him up with extension cords, according to the sheriff’s department.
Undersheriff Jeff Hallock told a news conference on Sunday that worshipers confiscated at least two handguns which were later seized by deputies.
Authorities are expected to release more information later on Monday.
Sheriff’s officials said up to 40 people from the Taiwanese church were at the facility when gunfire broke out.
The shots were reported to the Geneva Presbyterian Church at 1:26 p.m. in the retirement town of Laguna Woods, about 20 miles southeast of Anaheim, the sheriff’s department said.
Sheriff’s officials said up to 40 people from the Taiwanese church were at the facility at the time of the shooting.
Four victims suffered serious injuries, they said.
On Sunday evening, the sheriff’s department identified the injured as Asian Americans between the ages of 66 and 92. Four are men. The identity of the deceased has been withheld pending notification of the family.
The victim’s body was discovered at the scene, sheriff’s officials said. All of the surviving victims, including one person with minor injuries, were hospitalized.
Two people admitted to Providence Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo on Sunday after the shooting were said to be in good condition on Monday, according to a hospital statement.
Law enforcement sources stressed that the investigation was in its very early stages and that they had not determined a motive.
Tom Cramer, co-director of a network of Presbyterian churches in Orange County, Los Ranchos Presbytery, said the violence took place during a luncheon honoring a former pastor of the congregation.
The organization “is deeply saddened by a fatal shooting that occurred during a lunch reception,” it said in a statement.
“Please keep the leadership of the Taiwanese congregation and Geneva in your prayers as they care for those traumatized by this shooting.”
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Los Angeles-based officers are assisting sheriff’s investigators. The FBI has also responded and is helping with the investigation, the sheriff’s department announced Sunday evening.
Laguna Woods and Laguna Woods Village are relatively exclusive communities for people 55 and older and their companions or loved ones. Large parts of it, including the village, are closed.
The town is made up of single-family homes, townhouses, and apartment-type residences. It opened as Leisure World in 1964 and became the county’s 32nd town in 1999.
Authorities asked people to avoid the area, noting that several roads were closed.
On Friday, Dallas police said they were looking for someone who may be targeting people of Asian descent in a series of shootings.
Three Korean women were injured in a shooting at a hair salon on Wednesday. Police Chief Eddie Garcia said the department is investigating the shooting as a hate crime.
Attacks on Asian Americans have skyrocketed in recent years.