Authorities were able to arrest the suspect after he was overpowered by community members, who then took away his gun
ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA: One person was killed and several others injured in a deadly shooting at a California church on Sunday, May 15. Orange County sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a shooting at the Geneva Presbyterian Church on El Toro Road in Laguna Woods around 2 p.m. local time, just a day after a horrific mass shooting in Buffalo. The churchgoers tied the suspect’s legs with an extension cord and took away his firearms. Orange County Deputy Sheriff Jeff Hallock said the act was one of “extraordinary heroism” and may have displayed more violence.
Authorities were able to arrest the suspect after he was overpowered by community members, who then took away his gun. An unnamed person is in custody, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy. A weapon they believe was used in the shooting has been obtained. “Dispatch received a call at 1:26 p.m. from a shooting at the Geneva Presbyterian Church. Four victims were seriously injured, one with minor injuries. All victims are adults and on their way to the hospital. One victim died at the scene,” the OC Sheriff wrote on Twitter. “The suspect was arrested at the scene. Continue. El Toro Road is closed between Calle Sonora and Canyon Wren, please avoid the area. The shooter’s motive was not immediately clear.
The body of the deceased was found at the scene and the surviving victims were taken to a hospital. According to police, at least 40 people belonging to a Taiwanese church were inside the facility when the gunman opened fire. The gunman in custody is in his 60s and of Asian descent. The investigation is now in its early stages and investigators are hoping the serial numbers on the firearms can help them find out more about the suspect.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said Los Angeles-based agents were assisting the sheriff’s investigators, and the FBI also reportedly responded. Tom Cramer, a co-executive of a network of Presbyterian churches in Orange County, the Los Ranchos Presbytery, confirmed the violence took place during a luncheon honoring a former pastor of the Taiwanese congregation.
The church shooting comes a day after ten people were shot dead and three others injured in a “racially motivated” mass shooting at a Buffalo convenience store on Saturday, May 14 “away” in Conklin, New York, according to the top Market on Jefferson Avenue. Filming took place in a predominantly black neighborhood.
Eleven of the victims were black and two of them were white. “We are investigating this incident as both a hate crime and a case of racially motivated violent extremism,” Stephen Belongia, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s Buffalo field office, said during a news conference. Erie County Sheriff John Garcia said: “That was pure evil. It was a racially motivated hate crime.” Gendron has pleaded not guilty to the murders. The shooter reportedly scrawled the N-word on his rifle before carrying out the massacre.
Gendron is believed to have published a white supremacist manifesto outlining his step-by-step plan. Officials revealed that Payton Gendron claimed in a 180-page diatribe that he was “radicalized” online while bored in the early days of the pandemic, rather than by people he met in person. The self-proclaimed white supremacist and anti-Semite has apparently learned through his “research” that low white birth rates around the world represent a “crisis” that will “ultimately lead to the complete racial and cultural replacement of the European people.”
In a section of the manifesto, Gendron outlined his phased plans for the day of shooting. He also wrote about the corned beef hash he would eat for breakfast. He planned how he would drive to the supermarket, wear his armor and carry his gun. He also wrote about the attack being live streamed. The Buffalo massacre is reportedly the latest in a wave of mass shootings inspired by the Great Replacement theory, a racist theory popular with white supremacists and the far right.