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Alleged Gunman in Custody After Shooting at Orange County Church Leaves 1 Dead, Several Wounded

CrimeAlleged Gunman in Custody After Shooting at Orange County Church Leaves 1 Dead, Several Wounded

Orange County Geneva PresbyterianAerial footage of the scene at the Laguna Woods church following Sunday’s shooting. Photo credit: Screen shot, @KCRANews, via Twitter

One man died and as many as five others were critically injured Sunday in a shooting at a church in Laguna Woods, and authorities said they had a suspect in custody.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Department said the shooting took place around 1:26 p.m. inside Geneva Presbyterian Church at 24301 El Toro Road in an area south of Irvine near where Interstate 5 meets Interstate 405.

“Four victims have been critically wounded, one with minor injuries. All victims are adults and are en route to the hospital. One victim is deceased at the scene,” the department said, adding that the suspect was detained at the scene.

Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said that a large number of the people inside the church during the shooting were of Taiwanese descent, but he had no further information about the service.

The department said earlier that a weapon had been recovered that might have been involved in the shooting.

The shooter’s motive was not immediately clear.

The Los Angeles branch of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent special agents to Laguna Woods, a community of 16,000, to assist the OCSD with its investigation.

Officials closed El Toro Road between Calle Sonora and Canyon Wren, and urged people to avoid the area. Authorities planned a 5 p.m. news conference at the scene to reveal more details.

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

The office of California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted the following statement:

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

The shooting comes one day after a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, was targeted by a heavily armed teen shooter who killed 10 people and wounded three others.

Authorities arrested Payton Gendron, 18, in connection with the shooting, which they said was racially motivated. Eleven of the 13 victims were Black.

– City News Service and wire reports

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