- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 15, 2022

Congregants hog-tied the suspect in Sunday’s deadly California shooting and confiscated both of his firearms, an act of bravery credited by authorities with saving lives.

One person was killed and five injured when a gunman opened fire at a lunch banquet following a morning service at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods.

The suspect, an Asian male in his 60s, was taken into custody following the shooting. 

Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock commended the churchgoers, who reportedly belong to the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church. The congregation holds 10 a.m. Sunday services at the Geneva facility.

“We believe a group of churchgoers detained him and hogtied his legs with an extension cord and confiscated at least two weapons from him,” Undersheriff Hallock said at a Sunday evening press conference. “He was detained when the deputies arrived.”

The churchgoers “displayed what we believe is exceptional heroism and bravery in intervening to stop the suspect. They undoubtedly prevented additional injuries and fatalities,” he said.

The motive for the shooting is still under investigation. The suspect lives in Las Vegas, according to the Los Angeles Times, and was uninjured.

“At this time, we do not know what the suspect’s motive may be or whether he had an intended target, or whether this is even a hate-related incident,” Undersheriff Hallock said.

About 30-40 people were attending the luncheon at the suburban Orange County church when the gunman opened fire. All the victims are adults, and four of the five people hurt had critical injuries.

The Orange County Fire Authority, FBI and ATF are working with the sheriff’s department on the investigation.




The deadly attack comes a day after 10 people were killed and three wounded at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, a horrific shooting that authorities have characterized as a hate crime. The suspect is White and 11 of the 13 victims were Black.

“Today is a very dark day for the people of Laguna Woods and Orange County, and our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by this senseless tragedy,” said Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett. 

“Just a day after the tragic and hate-filled actions that led to the senseless deaths of Americans at the Tops Friendly Market in Buffalo, NY, we too are now dealing with people shot in their place of worship here in Laguna Woods,” she said.

Undersheriff Hallock said that dispatch received a call at 1:26 p.m. Sunday and that deputies arrived within minutes, but by then the suspect had been subdued.

Kristi Johnson, FBI assistant director in charge of the Los Angeles field office, thanked the congregants for their “very brave” response.


• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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