California church shooting: Parishioners praised for hog-tying suspected gunman

Orange County Sheriff's Department Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said Sunday that one person was killed and four are in critical condition after a shooting occurred at a church in Laguna Hills, Calif. A male suspect has been taken into custody.

Churchgoers are being praised for their quick thinking after they were able to detain a shooter inside their Southern California church over the weekend, hog-tying his legs with an extension cord in what a sheriff’s official called “exceptional heroism and bravery.”

A man opened fire at the Grace Presbyterian Church in the city of Laguna Woods on Sunday, killing one person and wounding five others.

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Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said in a press conference Sunday that officers responded to a call about a shooting at 1:26 p.m. that afternoon. The incident happened at a lunch banquet that was honouring a former pastor of the primarily Taiwanese congregation.

“We believe a group of churchgoers detained him, and hog-tied his legs with an extension cord, and confiscated at least two weapons from him,” said Hallock, as reported by NBC News. “That group of churchgoers displayed what we believe is exceptional heroism and bravery in intervening to stop the suspect. They undoubtedly prevented additional injuries and fatalities.”

Hallock said there were between 30 and 40 people at the luncheon but did not say how many of the parishioners stepped in to halt the shooter.

In a Facebook post from the Presbytery of Los Ranchos, a church administrative group, presbytery leader Tom Cramer called for prayers.

“Please keep the leadership of the Taiwanese congregation and Geneva in your prayers as they care for those traumatized by this shooting,” he wrote.

Churchgoers are seen as police investigate after a shooting inside Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, on May 15, 2022. - One person was dead and four people were "critically" injured in a shooting at a church near Los Angeles, law enforcement said Sunday.

Churchgoers are seen as police investigate after a shooting inside Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, on May 15, 2022.

Ringo Chiu / Getty Images

On Monday, police confirmed the suspect as David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas, N.V. Chou was detained on one felony count of murder and five felony counts of attempted murder.

The five victims wounded in the gunfire include four males and one female, all senior citizens ranging in age from 66 to 92 years old.

The naming of the person killed in the attack is pending official identification and notification of next of kin.

With files from Global News’ Irelyne Lavery

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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