According to a witness, a pastor visiting his old congregation at the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, helped restrain a gunman by beating him with a chair on Sunday.
Before 1:30 p.m., a gunshot occurred in the Orange County city. After service on Sunday, churchgoers ate lunch and took pictures with former pastor Billy Chang, who was visiting the United States after moving to Taiwan two years ago.
Chen explained, “Everyone had just finished lunch. They were taking photos with Pastor Chang. I had just finished my lunch and went into the kitchen.”
The attacker opened fire on the crowd of about 40 individuals, wounding five people and killing one. The church, according to Chen, is primarily made up of older, retired Taiwanese immigrants, with an average age of 80.
We are actively monitoring the shooting at a church in Laguna Woods and working closely with local law enforcement.— Office of the Governor of California (@CAgovernor) May 15, 2022
No one should have to fear going to their place of worship. Our thoughts are with the victims, community, and all those impacted by this tragic event.
Chang was observed beating the gunman with a chair as he paused to reload his rifle, according to Chen. Other parishioners then rushed in and attacked the shooter, tying him up with an extension cable.
Chang had been the pastor of the congregation for 20 years and was returning to Taiwan for the first time in two years.
The parishioners met the gunman and invited him to their church before the start of services on Sunday. According to Chen, the gunman informed members of the congregation that he had previously attended the church, but no one recognized him.
Police have not released any details about the shooting, however an Asian man in his 60s has been arrested. According to law enforcement officials, the 68-year-old man is a Las Vegas resident with no apparent ties to the church.
Four Asian males, aged 66, 75, 82, and 92, and an 86-year-old Asian woman were among those injured by bullets, according to the sheriff’s department.
On Sunday, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office stated they are actively watching the situation and condemned the incident.