- Police detained the gunman who shot multiple people
- Police said the suspect in the shooting is an Asian male in his 60s
- Investigators were also interviewing between 30 and 40 witnesses
One person was killed, while four others were critically injured after a man opened fire at a Presbyterian church in a suburban Southern California community Sunday afternoon (local time). According to the officials, the majority of those present at the site were senior citizens. The shooting was reported shortly before 1.30 pm at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the city of Laguna Woods.
Police detained the gunman who shot multiple people, calling their intervention an act of “exceptional heroism and bravery.” Police said the suspect in the shooting is an Asian male in his 60s who investigators do not believe lives in the community.
Police said by the time they arrived on the scene the parishioners had the man hog-tied and in custody.
Meanwhile, investigators were interviewing between 30 and 40 witnesses.
About 30 people witnessed the violence, a spokesperson said, adding the majority of those inside the church are believed to be of Taiwanese descent.
Investigators were looking at many factors, including whether the bloodshed could be a hate crime and whether the gunman was known to the church community.
The gunfire erupted during a lunch reception honouring 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.
Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were responding to the scene. The FBI was also sending agents to the scene to assist the sheriff.
Laguna Woods was built as a senior living community and later became a city. More than 80 per cent of residents in the city of 18,000 people about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles are at least 65.
Governor Gavin Newsom’s office said on Twitter that he was closely monitoring the situation.
The incident occurred in an area with a cluster of houses of worship, including Catholic, Lutheran, and Methodist churches and a Jewish synagogue.
(With inputs from AP)