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Churchgoers Hog-Tie Mass Shooter With Electrical Cords Preventing Greater Tragedy

by : Poppy Bilderbeck on :
Churchgoers Hog-Tie Mass Shooter With Electrical Cords Preventing Greater Tragedy
Churchgoers Hog-Tie Mass Shooter With Electrical Cords Preventing Greater Tragedy (NBC News)

Officials have praised churchgoers who managed to apprehend and hog-tie a shooter who entered a church and opened fire.

On Sunday, 15 May, just before 1.30pm, Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, was targeted by a gunman.

The suspect is said to have opened fire on churchgoers after a service, during a lunch banquet.

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At a press conference, officials noted the 'bravery' of the parish members 'detaining' the suspect by tying him up with electrical cables to prevent further casualties.

A shooting took place at Geneva Presbyterian Church on Sunday, 15 May. Credit: Google
A shooting took place at Geneva Presbyterian Church on Sunday, 15 May. Credit: Google

Police first received reports of a shooting at 1.26pm. When officers arrived at the scene they 'found the congregants had detained the suspect by tackling him then tying his legs with extension cords'. At least one person died during the incident and five were injured.

As well as giving her 'sincerest condolences' to both the victims and their families, assistant director in charge of Los Angeles' FBI, Kristi Johnson, gave a 'heartfelt thank you to the congregation who are very brave today in their actions' at the press conference held later on Sunday afternoon.

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Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said: "We believe a group of church-goers detained him and hog-tied his legs with an extension cord and confiscated at least two weapons from him.

"That group of churchgoers displayed what we believe is exceptional heroism and bravery [...] in detaining the suspect [...] It's safe to say that had they not intervened this situation could have been much worse."

Orange County Sheriff's Department posted updates surrounding the incident on Twitter.

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It noted 'multiple victims' had been shot, before later clarifying that 'four victims [were] critically wounded' in the attack, 'one with minor injuries' and 'one victim [...] deceased at the scene'.

The press release stated: "Deputies located one deceased individual and five others who were injured. They immediately began lifesaving measures until paramedics with the Orange County Fire Authority arrived to provide advanced critical care. Five individuals were taken to local hospitals where they are being treated."

The victims were four Asian men and one Asian woman, ranging from 66 to 92 years old. All victims suffered gunshot wounds.

"The identity of the decedent will be released pending official identification by the Coroner and notification of next of kin," officials said.

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An 'Asian man in his 60s' was detained at the scene and taken into custody. Two firearms were also recovered.

"The man is not believed to live in the area and investigators are working to determine his city of residence and whether he has any connections to the church or its congregants," the post said.

The suspect's identity has not yet been revealed and will only be released once he is booked.

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At the press conference, OC Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said the suspect's motive had not yet been ascertained, or whether he had an 'intended target' or if the attack was 'even a hate-related incident'.

"Obviously, motive is always the question, which determines the extent of involvement at the federal level, or whether federal or local prosecution is pursued. And at this time we are working very hard to determine the motive," Johnson said.

The OC Sheriff's Department concluded: "The investigation remains ongoing. The Orange County Fire Authority, the Bureau of Investigations (FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting the incident."

Undersheriff Hallock also said crisis counselling was being provided to congregants by members of the trauma intervention program.

If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677 

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Poppy Bilderbeck

Poppy Bilderbeck is a Junior Journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from The University of Manchester in 2021 with a First in English Literature and Drama, where alongside her studies she was Editor-in-Chief of The Tab Manchester. She currently runs the mental health column for UNILAD, and is such a crisp fanatic that the office has now been forced to release them in batches.

Topics: News, US News, Crime