Victims, gunman in California church shooting were all Taiwanese

The victims and the gunman involved in a shooting incident at an Orange County, California church that left one man dead and 5 people injured were all Taiwanese, according to reports in Taiwan’s Chinese language media.

According to United Daily News, deputy director of Taiwan’s representative office (TECO) Los Angeles, Richard Lin, told Taiwan’s Central News Agency in a phone interview that police received a report of a shooting at the Geneva Presbyterian Church at 1:26 pm Sunday, May 15. Lin said that a Taiwanese gunman, aged in his 60s, opened fire on a group of church members. One person died at the scene, four were critically injured, and one was slightly injured.

According to the United Daily News report, the deceased was a physician named Zheng. Zheng was shot while trying to stop the shooter. The four people critically injured were two elderly couples named Zhou and Yang. The slightly injured was a younger man who suffered an eye injury.

TECO’s Los Angeles office expressed condolences to the victim’s family members on behalf of the government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

According to US media reports, the gunman opened fire during a lunch banquet attended by 30 to 40 church members following a Taiwanese language church service Sunday morning. One person was killed and five were injured before members of the congregation tackled the gunman and hogtied him with an extension chord.

“That group of churchgoers displayed what we believe is exceptional heroism and bravery … It’s safe to say that had they not intervened this situation could have been much worse,” Undersheriff Jeff Hallock told La Times.

“The pastor hit the gunman with a chair when the shooter paused to reload his weapon and other members of the congregation tackled him,” a church member named Chen said in the La Times report.

Police arrested a 68-year-old man and confiscated two handguns.

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