California officials react to Orange County church shooting

After a shooting at an Orange County church killed one individual and injured five others on Sunday, California federal and state lawmakers say they will not accept these acts of violence as the “new normal” and vowed to support the victims.

The shooting occurred at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods during a lunch banquet early Sunday afternoon, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. One person was killed at the scene. Authorities reported that five individuals, all ages 66 or older, were injured.

When deputies arrived, congregants had “hogtied” the gunman’s legs with extension cords, and two firearms were located at the scene, according to the department.

“That group of churchgoers displayed what we believe is exceptional heroism and bravery in intervening to stop the suspect,” Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said during a news conference Sunday. “They undoubtedly prevented additional injuries and fatalities.”

Authorities identified 68-year-old David Chou of Las Vegas as the shooting suspect Monday morning. He was booked on five felony counts of attempted murder and one felony count of murder, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The shooting occurred just one day after a gunman killed 10 people after opening fire at a Buffalo supermarket in an act police say was a hate crime, the Associated Press reported. The Buffalo shooting is the deadliest mass shooting to occur in 2022, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

The shooting in Laguna Woods prompted responses from several federal lawmakers who represent the region in Congress, offering prayers for the victims and promising support.

“This is upsetting and disturbing news, especially less than a day after a mass shooting in Buffalo,” U.S. Rep. Katie Porter, D-California, said in a statement. “This should not be our new normal. I will work hard to support the victims and their families.”

State Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine, said Sunday that it is “almost unthinkable that one of the safest places in the country would be hit by the specter of gun violence,” adding that Laguna Woods is a “close-knit” community of many retirees.

“We should refuse to accept these tragedies as the new normal in our schools, our houses of worship, or anywhere,” Min said in a statement.

Min is planning to host an event Tuesday with the Brady Campaign, a nonprofit gun violence prevention group, to discuss enacting “common sense legislation” that aims to “put a stop to the havoc that continues to wreak on our communities, here in Orange County, in California and in the United States.”

This article was originally posted on California officials react to Orange County church shooting

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