(JustPatriots.com)- On Sunday, a Chinese-born American entered the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, and opened fire, killing one and injuring five others before congregants subdued him.
According to Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, the gunman, 68-year-old David Chou, was angry about political tensions between China and Taiwan. Barnes said the shooting is being investigated as a politically-motivated hate crime.
After Sunday’s attack, the Sheriff revealed that Chou’s shooting spree was cut short when the church’s retired pastor, Billy Chang, struck Chou in the head with a chair while others quickly grabbed his gun. The congregants held Chou down and tied his legs with extension cords.
Chou, who traveled from Las Vegas, Nevada, allegedly chained the doors to the church before firing on the congregants during an after-service luncheon.
Five congregants were wounded and one, Dr. John Cheng, was killed while trying to save his fellow church-goers.
Cheng, a sports medicine specialist, was fatally shot when he charged across the room to stop Chou.
Sheriff Barnes described Dr. Cheng as a “hero,” saying without his actions, there would have been more victims in Sunday’s shooting.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer told reporters on Monday that Dr. Cheng sacrificed his life to protect others.
Chou has been booked on one felony murder charge, five counts of felony attempt murder, and four counts of unlawful possession of explosives. He will likely face additional charges as the investigation remains underway.
Sheriff Barnes said evidence found in Chou’s car revealed “his hatred of Taiwan.” Barnes said Chou, who had driven from Las Vegas to Orange County on Saturday, didn’t appear to know anyone at the church but targeted the location “as a representation of Taiwan.”
Christine Johnson, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles field office said on Monday that the agency has opened a federal hate crimes investigation into the attack.
Chou is set to be arraigned on Tuesday.