1 dead and several others seriously injured after shooting inside a church in Laguna Woods


ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) – At least one person was killed and several others were injured in a shooting Sunday at a church in Laguna Woods, authorities said.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, it happened inside the Geneva Presbyterian Church located in the 24000 block of El Toro Road just before 1:30 p.m.

An update posted to Twitter by the Sheriff’s Department said four people were seriously injured and one suffered minor injuries.

Two of the victims were taken to Providence Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. Providence Mission is a Level II trauma facility. Another victim was taken to the trauma center of the UCI Medical Center in Orange.

Another person was found dead at the scene, the tweet said.

None of the victims have been identified.

At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, officials said the suspect, described as an Asian adult in his 60s, was arrested and tied up by the legs with an extension cord by a group of worshipers after the suspect opened fire at a banquet after the church service.

At least two weapons were taken from the suspect by parishioners, officials said. Following the incident, OC Sheriff’s K-9 bombing teams swept the church grounds to ensure there were no secondary devices.

Authorities credit these heroic worshipers with preventing additional injuries and deaths.

The suspect, who has not been named, was not injured in the incident. Officials say they don’t believe the suspect lives in the area and investigators are working to determine if he has any connection to the Geneva Presbyterian Church or the congregation.

“At this time, we don’t know what the suspect’s motive may be, if he had an intended target, or if this was even a hate-related incident,” Undersheriff Jeff said. Hallock at Sunday’s press conference. “Members of the trauma intervention program are also on hand to provide crisis counseling to congregants.”

The FBI has joined this ongoing investigation.

“First, my deepest condolences to the families and victims here today, and also a heartfelt thank you to the faithful who are very brave in their actions today,” said Kristi Johnson, Deputy Director in Charge – FBI Los Angels. “We have linguists arriving soon to help us. We have our evidence response team on standby, and we also have our behavioral analysis unit present on the scene.”

“Obviously, motive is always the question, which determines the extent of federal involvement, or whether federal or local prosecutions are pursued,” Johnson said. “And right now we are working very hard to determine the motive.”

ATF is also participating in the investigation.

“Our officers have initiated an emergency search for the recovered firearms,” said Stephen Galloway, Assistant Special Agent in Charge, ATF Los Angeles. “These traces are currently ongoing and will be fully investigated once completed.”

The lunch was in honor of a former pastor of the Taiwanese congregation.

In video obtained by Eyewitness News, firefighters, first responders and deputies were seen surrounding the church as the investigation began.

The scene remains active and El Toro Road has been closed between Calle Sonora and Canyon Wren Lane.

Motorists are asked to avoid the area.

This is a developing story. This article will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.