US state of California: one dead after a shooting in a church

Status: 05/16/2022 05:03

At least one person has been shot and killed in a church in California. Police also report four serious injuries. One person has been arrested and the alleged murder weapon has been secured.

Several people were shot dead in a church in the US state of California. At least one person was killed. A suspect has been arrested and a weapon has been secured, the responsible police wrote on Twitter. The incident happened at the Presbyterian Church in Geneva in the afternoon in the town of Laguna Woods about 70 kilometers south of Los Angeles.

One victim died at the scene, police said. Several people were taken to hospital with serious injuries, one person was slightly injured. All of the victims were adults.

According to initial police findings, the gun attack was carried out by a man of Asian origin. Jeff Hallock of the Orange County Police Department told a news conference the motive was still under investigation. According to a report by the Los Angeles Times, the victims were also predominantly of Asian descent, with most originating from Taiwan.

Believers overwhelmed by attackers in a church

According to police, worshipers had gathered for a meal after church when the attack began. According to this, the believers were able to overpower the attacker and hold him until the police arrived. Worshipers “bound his legs with an extender and grabbed at least two guns,” Hallock said. “This group of worshipers displayed exceptional heroism and bravery.” Believers would have avoided further injury or death.

However, investigating the attack is not easy. The police must take the statements of 30 to 40 witnesses who were in the building. According to Hallock, it is also necessary to wait for translators to be able to hear the believers and the alleged author.

The police are monitoring the situation

Laguna Woods has a population of approximately 19,000. The Los Angeles Times newspaper reported a massive police presence. Footage online showed emergency vehicles parked outside a church. California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office said it was working with local authorities to monitor the situation. “No one should be afraid to go to worship. Our thoughts are with the victims,” ​​the office said.

“Shattering and disturbing news”

Democratic Rep. Katie Porter, Orange County seat in the House of Representatives in Washington, spoke of “shattering and disturbing news, especially less than a day after the Buffalo shooting.” She added: “This shouldn’t be our new normal.”

A gunman opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, killing at least ten people. Investigators assume a racist motive. The crime sparked widespread outrage across the country. US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden plan to visit the city on Tuesday to “mourn with the community”, the White House said.

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