1 dead, 5 injured in shooting at a church in Laguna Woods, California; suspect has been detained

1 dead, 5 injured in shooting at a church in Laguna Woods, California; suspect has been detained
Laguna Woods, CA - May 15: One person died and four people were critically injured in a shooting at a Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Sunday, May 15, 2022.Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register/Getty Images
  • A shooting occurred at a church in Southern California on Sunday afternoon.
  • One person was pronounced dead at the scene while four were critically injured, police said.

At least one person was killed and five were injured during a shooting that took place Sunday in Laguna Woods, California, authorities said.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department said police were called to the Geneva Presbyterian Church at 1:26 p.m. One victim was pronounced dead at the scene while five who were injured, four critically, were transported to the hospital.

The victims were between the ages of 66 and 92, according to a statement from OCSD.

Authorities said during a press conference the shooting took place at a lunch banquet that followed the morning service. Police said churchgoers were able to detain the suspect and tie him up before deputies arrived at the scene.

"We believe a group of church-goers detained him and hog-tied his legs with an extension cord and confiscated at least two weapons from him," Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said, adding the group of church-goers displayed "exceptional heroism and bravery in intervening to stop the suspect."


"They undoubtedly prevented additional injuries and fatalities," he said, adding there were 30 to 40 people inside the church at the time of the shooting.

Hallock said police detained the suspect, who he described as an Asian male adult in his 60s. He also said police do not believe the suspect is from the area but are working to determine his place of residence and whether he is connected to the church.

1 dead, 5 injured in shooting at a church in Laguna Woods, California; suspect has been detained
The Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, after a shooting took place on May 15, 2022.Hannah Getahun for Insider

Police also recovered two firearms from the scene that may have been involved.

Local law enforcement and the FBI are still investigating to determine a motive or whether the suspect had an intended target.

Hallock also said a Taiwanese congregation was in the church at the time of the shooting, The Los Angeles Times reported.


Laguna Woods Mayor Pro Tem Cynthia Conners told reporters at the scene that most of the congregants present at the event where the shooting occurred were Taiwanese, adding that the church building is a shared space.

According to a statement shared by the Presbytery of Los Ranchos, a church administrative body, the event was held to honor a former pastor of a Taiwanese congregation that meets at the church.

"Please keep the leadership of the Taiwanese congregation and Geneva in your prayers as they care for those traumatized by this shooting," the statement said.

Gov. Gavin Newsom's office said in a statement they are "actively monitoring the shooting."

"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 office said.


The city of Laguna Woods is located in Orange County, about 50 miles southeast of Los Angeles.

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