Police say churchgoers detained the gunman who shot multiple people Sunday at a California church, calling their intervention an act of “exceptional heroism and bravery.”
Police say the suspect in the shooting is an Asian male in his 60s who investigators do not believe lives in the community.
The shooting occurred during a lunch banquet after a morning service in the church.
Police say by the time they arrived on the scene the parishioners had the man hog-tied and in custody.
“I think it’s safe to say that had people not intervened, it could have been much worse,” Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock says.
“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,” Hallock says.
Investigators were interviewing between 30 and 40 witnesses.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.
One person was killed and four others were critically wounded in a shooting Sunday at a Southern California church, authorities said.
Deputies detained one person and recovered a weapon following the shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the city of Laguna Woods, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter.
A fifth injured person suffered minor injuries, officials said. All the victims were adults.
Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were responding to the scene.
Laguna Woods was built as a senior living community and later became a city. More than 80% of residents in the city of 18,000 people about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles are at least 65.
The incident occurred in an area with a cluster of houses of worship, including Catholic, Lutheran and Methodist churches and a Jewish synagogue.
The shooting came a day after an 18-year-old man shot and killed 10 people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.