LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — 8 News Now is learning more about the man accused of committing a mass shooting at a California church on Sunday that killed one person and injured five others.
David Chou, 68, is accused of opening fire in the Irvine Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods.
According to authorities, Chou was from China, but has lived in the United States for years. He lived in Las Vegas in a Spring Valley apartment.
Balmore Orellana, who was Chou’s neighbor, said the suspect had moved out in February and described him as “nice,” but said he had some concerns.
“Honestly, I would like to ask him what is going on with him,” said Orellana. “He was kind of mad before he left, he disappeared in February, was evicted.”
Orellana said he moved after Chou’s wife sold the building. He told 8 News Now he knew Chou for five years, describing him as friendly.
Orellana added that Chou would even bring his family gifts.
“He also brought his red envelopes on Chinese New Year,” he continued.
Authorities are investigating the shooting of the Taiwanese church group as a hate crime after evidence was found in Chou’s car, the same car Orellana had seen at his apartment.
“It’s believed the suspect involved was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan,” said Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes in a Monday press conference about the mass shooting.
Despite describing him as friendly, Orellana noted some issues he had from time to time. He said a gun was accidentally fired and went through his wall, nearly hitting a child’s bed. He also said there were a few times Chou was verbally abusive toward his wife.
“I told him once, you better calm down,” Orellana said. “Don’t talk to your wife like that, he didn’t after because that wasn’t right.”
Orellana said Chou worked as a security officer at the Sands Convention Center, and that Chou’s ex-wife was moving to Taiwan last year after being diagnosed with cancer.
Investigators still don’t know why Chou chose that church.
“Never, I know he never went to church,” Orellana said.
8 News Now asked Orellana if there were any mentions of dislike or hatred toward the country of Taiwan, and he said no, and that Chou even mentioned he had visited Taiwan in the past.
Chou was booked on one felony count of murder and five felony counts of attempted murder. He’s being held on $1 million bail.