A person who opened fireplace throughout a lunch reception at a Southern California church on Sunday was detained by parishioners, in accordance with a sheriff’s official who known as their intervention an act of “exceptional heroism and bravery.”
One particular person was killed and 4 others have been critically wounded within the afternoon taking pictures at Geneva Presbyterian Church within the metropolis of Laguna Woods, Orange County Sheriff’s Department officers mentioned.
The suspect within the taking pictures, an Asian man in his 60s, was in custody and deputies recovered two handguns on the scene, Undersheriff Jeff Hallock mentioned. A motive for the taking pictures wasn’t instantly recognized however investigators do not imagine the gunman lives in the neighborhood, Hallock mentioned.
The majority of these contained in the church on the time have been believed to be of Taiwanese descent, mentioned Carrie Braun, a sheriff’s spokesperson.
Between 30 and 40 individuals have been gathered for lunch after a morning church service when gunfire erupted shortly earlier than 1:30 pm, officers mentioned. When deputies arrived, parishioners had the gunman hog-tied and in custody.
“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. “I think it’s safe to say that had people not intervened, it could have been much worse.”
A man died at the scene and a fifth injured person suffered minor injuries, officials said. All the victims were adults.
The lunch reception was honoring a former pastor of a Taiwanese congregation that has services at Geneva, according to a statement from the Presbytery of Los Ranchos, a church administrative body.
“Please preserve the management of the Taiwanese congregation and Geneva in your prayers as they take care of these traumatized by this taking pictures,” the presbytery’s Tom Cramer said in a statement on Facebook.
Federal agents from the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded. The FBI also agents to the scene to assist the sheriff.
Laguna Woods was built as a senior living community and later became a city. More than 80% of residents in the city of 18,000 people about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles are at least 65.
Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said on Twitter that he was closely monitoring the situation.
“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,” the tweet said.
The incident occurred in an area with a cluster of houses of worship, including Catholic, Lutheran and Methodist churches and a Jewish synagogue.
On its website, the Geneva Presbyterian Church describes its mission as “to remember, tell, and live the way of Jesus by being just, kind, and humble.”
“All are welcome here. Really, we mean that! … Geneva aspires to be an inclusive congregation worshiping, learning, connecting, giving and serving together.”
The taking pictures got here a day after an 18-year-old man shot and killed 10 individuals at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York.
“This is upsetting and disturbing news, especially less than a day after a mass shooting in Buffalo,” mentioned US Rep Katie Porter, whose district consists of Laguna Woods. “This should not be our new normal. I will work hard to support the victims and their families.”