Laguna Woods shooting: One dead and four critically wounded in attack at church

‘No one should have to fear going to their place of worship,’ California governor says

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Monday 16 May 2022 05:39
Scenes outside the Calfiornia church tageted by shooting
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One person has been killed and five others have been wounded at a shooting at a church in Orange County, California, according to police.

“We have detained one person and have recovered a weapon that may be involved,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) announced on Twitter on Sunday.

All the victims are adults, and four were “critically wounded” and rushed to the hospital, the OCSO said.

The 911 call about the shooting at the Geneva Presbyterian Church went out at 1.26pm, according to police.

The shooting occured in the city of Laguna Woods, about 45 miles southeast of Los Angeles, an area with a large population of senior citizens.

Orange County fire officials said they had emergency medical crews on the scene, and had transfered multiple people to the hospital.

The exact circumstances that led to the shooting remain undisclosed.

The Independent has reached out to the sheriff’s office for more information.

“My understanding is this all occurred inside the church building,” a police spokesperson told The New York Times. “We’re trying to figure out what kind of a service was going on at the time.”

The shooting occured on the 24000 block of El Toro Road.

Photos on social media showed three fire engines outside of a church in the area.

The FBI is assisting with the response at the scene, the Los Angeles Times reported. So is the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office also said it was monitoring the incident closely.

“No one should have to fear going to their place of worship,” the governor’s office wrote in statement. “Our thoughts are with the victims, community, and all those impacted by this tragic event.”

Cindy Frazier, 65, was out running errands when she heard the sirens of numerous law enforcement officials heading to the church, thinking at first it was a local fire.

“I thought it was the fire flaring back up but it was just one after the other,” the Laguna Woods resident told the paper. “It’s just so heartbreaking. Why? Why our community.”

The shooting came just a day after 10 people were killed in a white supremacist mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

“This is upsetting and disturbing news, especially less than a day after a mass shooting in Buffalo,” US representative Katie Porter, whose district is nearby, wrote on Twitter on Sundy. “This should not be our new normal. I will work hard to support the victims and their families.”

Police will address the public at 5pm PT.

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