At Least 5 People Hurt in Shooting at Laguna Woods Church – NBC Los Angeles

on May16
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At least five people have been hurt, four critically and one with minor injuries, and one person is dead after a shooting at a church in the Laguna Woods area of Orange County, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

“Four victims have been critically wounded, one with minor injuries,” the OCSD said on Twitter. “All victims are adults and are enroute to the hospital. One victim is deceased at the scene.”

The ages and genders of the shooting victims are not yet known.

One woman arrived at the scene of the shooting to get information on her 92-year-old father and her mother, she told NBC4. She said authorities confirmed to her that her father was taken to the hospital, but she has not yet heard anything about her mother.

The shooting occurred just before 1:30 p.m. at Geneva Presbyterian Church, located at 24301 El Toro Road.

The suspected shooter is in police custody, the OCSD said.

The shooting happened just before 1:30 p.m. on Sunday in Laguna Woods. Cut-in aired on May 15, 2022.

They have not yet been identified, but police sources told NBC News that the man suspected of opening fire at the church is in his 60s.

The sources also say he is of Asian descent and they are investigating whether he targeted congregants of Asian descent. They stressed that the investigation is in its earliest preliminary stages.

They have not yet determined a motive. It does not appear that there are any other suspects, the sources said.

A gun that may have been used in the shooting has been recovered, the OCSD said. Deputies are still at the scene.

Police sources told NBC News that at least one handgun was recovered at the scene.

Thirty to 40 witnesses will need to be interviewed, including people who were inside the church at the time, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.

Authorities said it was not not clear whether there was a service in the church at the time or whether the shooter is a member of the congregation.

According to members of the church at the scene after the shooting, the gathering was for a former pastor at the Geneva Presbyterian Church.

The Presbytery of Los Ranchos put out a statement confirming the lunch.

“The Presbytery of Los Ranchos is deeply saddened by a fatal shooting that occurred at a lunch reception honoring a former pastor of the Taiwanese congregation that nests at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods,” the Presbytery of Los Ranchos, an Anaheim church, said in a statement to NBC4.

“Initial reports indicate that one person was killed, and several others were severely injured. Please keep the leadership of the Taiwanese congregation and Geneva in your prayers as they care for the those traumatized by this shooting. In your mercy, O Lord, we pray.”

One person was killed and five hurt in the shooting at a Laguna Woods church Sunday. Vikki Vargas reports May 15, 2022.

Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were also responding to the scene, according to the Associated Press.

El Toro Road is closed between Calle Sonora and Canyon Wren, according to the OCSD.

Laguna Woods is a city in Orange County bordered by Laguna Hills and Lake Forest. It is located about 10 miles from University of California Irvine.

The church is located in a busy area of the neighborhood, with a shopping center catty-corner to the church across the street. A number of homes are also nearby.

Days before, a destructive 200-acre blaze called the Coastal Fire destroyed 20 homes in the nearby community of Laguna Niguel. It was 60% contained as of Sunday.

Rep. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, whose district includes Laguna Woods, put out a statement on Twitter shortly after the shooting occurred.

“A shooting at a church in Laguna Woods has left multiple people injured,” Porter said. “This is upsetting and disturbing news, especially less than a day after a mass shooting in Buffalo. This should not be our new normal. I will work hard to support the victims and their families.”

The shooting occurred just one day after an 18-year-old gunman allegedly opened fire in a supermarket in Buffalo, New York and killed 10 people.

The office of California Gov. Gavin Newsom also tweeted out a statement in response to the shooting.

“We are actively monitoring the shooting at a church in Laguna Woods and working closely with local law enforcement,” the statement read. “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.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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