• USA One dead and five injured in a shooting at a church near Los Angeles

David Chou

, the suspect in opening fire this Sunday at a church outside

Los Angeles

, apparently had political motivations for the attack that left one dead and five injured, authorities reported Monday.

Chou, 68, who traveled from

Las Vegas (Nevada)

to the city of

Laguna Woods

on Saturday afternoon, faces aggravated charges for "hate crime."

The Chinese immigrant, a resident of Las Vegas, was arrested after the attack he perpetrated around 1:30 in the afternoon at the

Geneva Presbyterian Church

, in Laguna Woods, a city southeast of Los Angeles, which brings together a community of

immigrants from Taiwan

.

Don Barners

, chief of the Orange County Sheriff's Department, said early investigations point to a "politically motivated hate incident" because of tensions between China and Taiwan.

Chou is under arrest and faces one felony count of murder and five felony counts of attempted murder.

Orange County District Attorney

Todd Spitzer

announced at a news conference that he added special circumstances to the charges, which would make Chou eligible for life in prison or the death penalty if found guilty.

Spitzer said hate crimes "will not be tolerated" in this county.

Authorities are investigating what the attacker did in the hours leading up to the attack.

Before shooting, the man

blocked the exits of the church

to prevent people from escaping.

It is estimated that there were about 50 people, most of them elderly.

Authorities said the same parishioners managed to arrest and subdue the man, who was carrying two weapons.

Various cartridges, Molotov cocktails, and incendiary devices were also found.

Chou, who is a naturalized US citizen, worked as a security guard in Las Vegas, which allowed him to purchase the weapons legally.

On the other hand, the authorities identified the doctor

John Cheng

, 53, as the person who lost his life in the shooting while trying to defend the rest of the parishioners.

The injured are an 86-year-old woman and four men aged 92, 82, 75 and 66.

They are all of Asian origin.

Barners explained that so far

no ties to the church have been found for Chou

, and that the shooter had no known religious affiliation.

The suspect's home in Las Vegas, which is more than 270 miles (435 kilometers) north of Laguna Woods, was searched.

Authorities set a $1 million bond for Chou.

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