Shooting at southern California church leaves one dead and five wounded

A shooting at a California church on Sunday has killed at least one person and wounded five others, in at least the second mass shooting of the weekend in the US.

The shooting early on Sunday afternoon occurred at Geneva presbyterian church in Laguna Woods, a town of 16,000 that consists of Laguna Woods Village, a retirement community for people 55 and older once known as Leisure World.

Authorities said churchgoers detained the suspect and hog-tied his legs with an electrical cord.

“That group of churchgoers displayed … exceptional heroism and bravery in intervening to stop the suspect,” Orange County undersheriff Jeff Hallock said. “They undoubtedly prevented additional injuries and fatalities.”

Between 30 and 40 people were gathered for lunch after a morning church service when gunfire erupted shortly before 1.30 pm, officials said.

One victim died at the scene. Four people were critically wounded, and one person sustained minor injuries. All of the victims were adults and were being taken to the hospital, the Orange county sheriff’s department said.

The majority of those inside the church at the time were believed to be of Taiwanese descent, said Carrie Braun, a sheriff’s spokesperson.

The suspect in the shooting, an Asian man in his 60s, was in custody and deputies recovered two handguns at the scene, Hallock said. A motive for the shooting wasn’t immediately known but investigators don’t believe the gunman lives in the community, he added.

The 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.

Sunday’s shooting comes one day after a white 18-year-old man opened fire at a supermarket in a mostly black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, killing 10 and wounding three in what authorities described as a purely racist attack.

“This is upsetting and disturbing news, especially less than a day after a mass shooting in Buffalo,” said Representative Katie Porter, whose district includes Laguna Woods. “This should not be our new normal. I will work hard to support the victims and their families.”

The California governor’s office said on Twitter that the Gavin Newsom 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.

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