Laguna Woods church and community leaders join together to denounce politically motivated violence

Photo: Multiple people shot at church in Laguna Woods – Times News Express

LOS ANGELES — Local leaders gathered Saturday to express support for the Taiwanese congregation of a Laguna Woods church that was recently targeted by a gunman who killed one parishioner and wounded five others in what authorities have characterized as a “politically motivated hate incident.”

Richard Lin, deputy director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, was among those who condemned the attack at Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Orange County. Lin, speaking at a news conference in the church parking lot, said that the Taiwanese people have “a strong belief that we have differences, but we share a common future.” David Wenwei Chou,

68, of Las Vegas, has been charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the Sunday shooting at the Taiwanese church, which rents space at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods. Chou, a U.S. citizen who was born in Taiwan, apparently had a grievance with the Taiwanese community, police said. According to Taiwanese media, Chou had ties to a mainland Chinese-backed organization opposed to Taiwan’s independence.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory, to be annexed by force if necessary. Chou’s hatred toward the island, documented in handwritten notes recovered by authorities, appears to have begun when he felt he wasn’t treated well while living there. A former neighbor said that Chou’s life unraveled after his wife left him and that his mental health had been in decline.

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