The man who opened fire at a church in California on Sunday, killing one and injuring five, is a 68-year-old Chinese-American who resented the Taiwanese community, police said Monday.
The six shooting victims, who were attending a banquet in this Laguna Woods church after the morning church service when the shooter opened fire, were from Taiwan.
Overpowered by the pastor and worshipers as he reloaded his weapon, the shooter was identified by police as 68-year-old David Chou.
According to Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, the man is a Chinese American citizen who had been in the United States "for many years" and was employed as a security guard in the Las Vegas area.
The 60-year-old, who had prepared his attack and was equipped with spare magazines and molotov cocktails, acted for "political and hate-motivated" reasons, the sheriff said during a press briefing.
Mastered by parishioners
Citing "notes" discovered by investigators in the suspect's car, he reported "grievances that this individual had towards the Taiwanese community as a whole", with nothing to show at this stage that he had any specific links with this church or targeted specific individuals.
“From what we found, we believe he specifically targeted the Taiwanese community and this Taiwanese Presbyterian Church is a representation of that community,” he explained.
The man killed by the suspect was a 52-year-old doctor, John Cheng, who died after charging the attacker in an attempt to disarm him, giving other parishioners time to neutralize him, including tying him up with an extension cord.
Sheriff Barnes called Dr. Chen a "hero" without whom "there would no doubt have been more victims."
The suspect was taken into custody on $1 million bond.
Political and diplomatic tensions are high between Beijing and Taipei: the communist regime considers the island of Taiwan as one of its provinces destined to return to its fold, if necessary by force.