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CA Taiwanese Church Gunman Was Upset Over China-Taiwan Relations

The gunman accused of killing one person and wounding five others inside a Southern California church over the weekend was upset about the state of relations between China and Taiwan, the Wall Street Journal reports. The deadly Sunday afternoon assault is being investigated as a possible "politically motivated incident," Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said. The church attacked was the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church. Its members worship in the Geneva Presbyterian Church in the Laguna Woods neighborhood, a hilltop retirement community popular with Asian Americans. The five wounded Asian-American parishioners range in age from 66 to 92 years old.


Law enforcement identified the suspected gunman as David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas. He has been booked on one felony count of murder and five felony counts of attempted murder. The FBI is investigating the assault as a possible hate crime. Chou, a China-born, U.S. citizen, was believed to be acting on a grievance he had against the Taiwanese community. “It is believed the suspect involved was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan,” Barnes said. The sheriff said the suspect had previously lived in Taiwan, where his wife is now, and that he was not well received while there. The state of relations between China and Taiwan is a politically charged issue. The self-ruled island is led by a democratically elected government but Beijing claims sovereignty over Taiwan.

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