La Jornada – Hate against Taiwanese sparked attack on California church

A man who carried out a deadly attack at a California church was a Chinese migrant who was motivated by hatred of Taiwanese, authorities said Monday.

Dr. John Cheng, 52, was killed in the attack and five others were injured, authorities said at a news conference on Monday.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said the motive for the shooting was a grievance between the shooter, identified as a naturalized Chinese immigrant, and the Taiwanese community. China claims that Taiwan is part of its national territory and has not ruled out the possibility of using force to bring the island under its control.

Barnes said the suspect drove to the Orange County church, which he did not regularly attend, locked the doors and began shooting.

Cheng, who is survived by his wife and two children, heroically walked up to the shooter and attempted to disarm him, allowing others to intervene, Barnes said. A pastor hit the assailant on the head with a chair and the parishioners tied him up with cables. But Barnes said Cheng suffered gunshot wounds.

The Orange County Police Department tweeted that David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas, has been booked on one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder.

Jerry Chen had just entered the kitchen of the church assembly hall at 1:30 pm on Sunday when he heard the shots.

Chen, 72, a longtime member of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which services at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, looked around the corner and saw other people screaming, running and ducking under the tables.

See Also:  California. Santa Ana winds will arrive on Thanksgiving Day

“I knew someone was shooting,” he said. “I was very, very scared. I ran out the kitchen door to call 911.”

Four of the five people injured suffered serious gunshot wounds.

There is ample evidence that the suspect “had an absolute bias against the Taiwanese people, his country, as a Chinese or mainland citizen,” Orange County District Attorney Tood Spitzer said.

The suspect left notes in his vehicle about “his hatred of the Taiwanese people,” Police Chief Barnes said. Jail records show that Chou is being held on $1 million bail. It is not known at this time if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.