Billy Chang stands earlier than the group, his voice faltering as he tries to search out the power to talk, a day after a gunman, allegedly fueled by hatred of the Taiwanese group, set fireplace to Laguna Woods Church.
He and about 100 others have been on the Geneva Presbyterian Church on Sunday when a gunfight broke out, killing 52-year-old John Cheng and injuring 5 others. Chang was amongst those that helped cease the shooter to forestall additional bloodshed.
“I need to say thanks to all those that prayed for us throughout this tough time,” he whispered into the microphone throughout Monday’s prayer assembly in Irvine.
Chang took off his glasses. Tears spilled over and a bunch of clergy and native officers hugged him and prayed in tears.
Following a lineup of audio system – together with clergy, metropolis officers and regulation enforcement leaders – Chang’s quick testimonials hit dwelling for a lot of, drawing standing applause from an viewers of about 150.
The 67-year-old is a former pastor of the Geneva Presbyterian Church and attended the Sunday service when he arrived from Taiwan. The capturing happened throughout a lunch in honor of Chang.
In an interview with The Occasions, Chang mentioned he was one of many circles that handled the suspect. Throughout lunch he and his spouse heard gunshots however couldn’t perceive what to assume.
“At first I wasn’t certain what occurred,” he mentioned. “I assumed it was a joke.”
He appeared round and noticed the others bowing down and realized that the sound was of gunfire.
Chang noticed the shooter and ran to him with a chair as his weapon.
“He bought scared. I do not assume he anticipated somebody to assault him.”
Chang mentioned he pushed the gunman to the ground and requested others for assist. He referred to as his spouse to search out one thing in order that they might tie the person.
He introduced her some electrical cords, and he or she and others held the suspect whereas others referred to as 911, he mentioned.
Investigators have offered few particulars, however consider the deadly assault was an incident of politically motivated hate.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, referring to the church, mentioned, “Primarily based on what we have found to this point, we consider it has particularly focused the Taiwanese group, and it’s that Taiwanese group.” a illustration of.”
The suspect has been recognized as David Wenwei Chow, 68, of Las Vegas.
Barnes mentioned Chow was born in mainland China and relocated to Taiwan earlier than shifting to the US. He has been residing in the US of America for years and is a US citizen.
He was arrested on Sunday and is being held on the Orange County Consumption Launch Middle in lieu of $1 million bail, jail data present. He’s to be produced in court docket on Tuesday.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun mentioned she was charged with one depend of homicide and 5 counts of tried homicide.
Along with the native legal case, the FBI has launched a federal hate crime investigation into the capturing, mentioned Christy Johnson, assistant director of the bureau’s Los Angeles workplace.
The outbreak of violence occurred near dwelling for a few of these current in Monday’s vigil.
Albert Chen, 65, a resident of Mission Viejo, attended to pay his respects to Cheng, who was killed whereas accusing the gunman and making an attempt to disarm him.
Officers mentioned Cheng’s actions allowed others to subdue the shooter.
Chen, who’s a Taiwanese American and attends a Taiwanese church in Irvine, mentioned that Chen was his major doctor.
“He was very form, very caring. He was cautious about my well being,” Chen mentioned.
She was accompanied by her 34-year-old daughter Joyce, who mentioned she needed to help her father and his group.
“Taiwan’s Christian group could be very tight-lipped,” she mentioned.
The prayer vigil was attended by clergy and congregations from varied spiritual communities in Orange County. Rev. of them. Ralph E. Williamson was pastor of Christ Our Redeemer AME Church.
“It might have been the congregation,” Williamson mentioned of the capturing. “We won’t be afraid of concern. We cannot be afraid to return collectively and lift our heads as we do. ,
The pastor mentioned Monday’s vigil was additionally held in response to a racially motivated mass capturing at a Buffalo, NY, grocery store on Saturday.
A white gunman live-streamed his racist getaway as he fired pictures from an AR-15-style rifle in physique armor, killing 10 folks and wounding three others.
Of the 13 victims, 11 are black and two are white, in accordance with Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia.
Officers additionally mentioned the gunman traveled almost 200 miles to focus on the traditionally black group.