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Man Faces 98 Charges For Anti-Taiwan Shooting At CA Church

Accused of fatally shooting one person and wounding five others at a Southern California church lunch last year, David Chou of Las Vegas man has been charged with dozens of federal hate crimes. Investigators said the attack was motivated by political hatred of Taiwan, where he grew up. The indictment announced Thursday by the U.S. Department of Justice charges Chou with 98 counts including weapons and explosives charges and forcefully obstructing the free exercise of religion. Authorities said Chou chained and nailed shut exit doors before launching the attack on older parishioners from the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on May 15, 2022. Chou had two handguns, bags of ammunition, and four Molotov cocktail-style devices, according to the Associated Press.

Among the charges were 45 counts of obstructing free exercise of religious beliefs by force, “which resulted in the death of one person, included attempts to kill 44 others, and involved the use of a firearm and attempted use of explosives and fire,” the Justice Department said. Orange County prosecutors have charged Chou with murder and attempted murder, including enhancements for a hate crime and other counts. Chou is being held without bail in Orange County and is due in court on July 14. Authorities said Chou had no prior connection to the church. They said he spent an hour with attendees before the attack, apparently to gain their trust, then closed the doors and started shooting. The wounded victims ranged in age from 66 to 92.


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