One dead, four 'critically wounded' in shooting at Orange County church: Sheriff's office

The suspect is in custody, but the situation could have been much worse without the quick-thinking congregants, officials said
Image
Police
Police
( Douglas Sacha/Getty)

One person is dead and five people are wounded after a shooting on Sunday at a church in Orange County, Calif., but the churchgoers intervened to prevent the situation from being "much worse," the sheriff's department stated.

"We have detained one person and have recovered a weapon that may be involved," the Orange County Sheriff's Department tweeted.

Authorities described the suspect as an Asian male in his 60s. His motive is still unclear. The shooting occurred at a luncheon for Taiwanese church attendees, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Quick-thinking congregants "undoubtedly prevented additional injuries and fatalities," Undersheriff Jeff Hallock told reporters at a press conference

"We believe a group of churchgoers detained him and hog-tied his legs with an extension cord and confiscated at least two weapons from him. He was detained when the deputies arrived," the officer said.

"It’s safe to say that had they not intervened this situation could have been much worse," Hallock noted.

One person died at the scene, while four victims are "critically wounded" and one has minor injuries, police said. The victims, all adults, are being transported to the hospital.

Deputies responded to the shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church, on the 24000 block of El Toro Road in Laguna Woods, after receiving a call shortly before 1:30 p.m. local time.

The Orange County Fire Authority said it is also on the scene and is "treating and transporting multiple patients."

The sheriff's department is planning a press conference at 5 p.m. local time to give more details on the incident.

The incident comes the day after another mass shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., resulted in 10 deaths. A separate shooting in Milwaukee Friday night left 20 people wounded outside of a Bucks-Celtics NBA game.