The man accused of fatally shooting one person and injuring five others at a Taiwanese church in southern California on Sunday was “waiting” before the horrific attack, prosecutors said Tuesday.
David Chou, a 68-year-old US citizen who grew up in Taiwan, has been charged with one count of murder, five counts of attempted murder and four counts of possession of a destructive device with intent to injure or harm. kill.
“We usually think of the person hiding in the bushes,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said. “This case is about the person hiding in plain sight.”
Authorities said Chou attended a lunch at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, although he didn’t know anyone there. Police said he spent an hour going through people’s meet-and-greet movements before beginning his rampage.
Chou could also face hate crime charges. Federal investigators have not yet completed their investigation. Local police said Chou was motivated by his hatred of Taiwanese people.
“Although there is currently very strong evidence that this was motivated by hate, we want to make sure that we have gathered all the evidence that supports this theory in the case,” Spitzer said.
Police said Chou chained the church doors before opening fire, indicating he planned to kill everyone inside. Investigators said Chou was carrying two rifles and four homemade explosives similar to Molotov cocktails.
The assault was stopped only by the heroic efforts of Dr. John Cheng, who charged Chou and tackled him. Cheng’s actions allowed other members of the church to subdue Chou, though Cheng was killed in the effort.
Four men aged 66, 92, 82 and 75 and an 86-year-old woman were injured and are expected to survive.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes called Cheng’s act a “meeting of good versus evil” that likely saved the lives of “more than dozens of people.”
With dispatch services