The congregants of an Orange County church are being hailed as heroes after they managed to hogtie a gunman who went on a shooting spree on Sunday afternoon in what authorities are describing as an act of ‘exceptional heroism and bravery.’
In the tragic California church shooting that occurred one day after the Buffalo massacre, a 60-year-old Asian gunman opened fire during a lunch banquet that was being held after the morning service, according to the Associated Press.
One person was killed and five others were shot at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, about 55 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The shooting took place around 1:25, and the shooter is now in police custody.
According to Dailymail.co.uk, about 40 parishioners witnessed the violence – but those who were present also helped to prevent further bloodshed by overpowering the shooter and tying him up.
The group reportedly confiscated his weapons and restrained him until police arrived on the scene.
Police say those involved ‘showed exceptional heroism and bravery in detaining the suspect.’
‘That group of churchgoers displayed what we believe is exceptional heroism and bravery in intervening to stop the suspect. They undoubtedly prevented additional injuries and fatalities,’ Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said. ‘I think it’s safe to say that had people not intervened, it could have been much worse.’
Two handguns were found on the shooter and were quickly removed.
It’s not clear exactly how the parishioners were able to subdue the man, but as soon as they had him on the ground, they tied his arms and legs with electrical or extension cords, Hallock explained.
One person suffered fatal wounds and died at the scene at the church. Four of the other victims were critically wounded – while a fifth suffered minor injuries.
All of the victims were adults and have been revealed to be four men aged 66, 75, 82 and 92 and one woman, aged 86.
A motive for the shooting, which took place in an auditorium called Simpson Hall, rather than the main auditorium where services are normally held, wasn’t immediately known – but investigators said they don’t believe the gunman lives in the community.