LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Orange County Sheriff’s Office has identified the suspected shooter at a Laguna Woods church as 68-year-old David Chou of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Chou, an Asian man, is being held on $1 million bail. He has been booked on one felony count of murder and five felony counts of attempted murder.

During a noon news conference, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said the shooting was a “politically motivated hate incident” because of a grievance Chou had against the Taiwanese community at large.

David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas. (Orange County Sheriff’s Department)

A booking photo of Chou was released by the sheriff’s office just before 3 p.m. Monday.

Barnes said Chou had no connection to the church but drove to Orange County on Saturday.

“The suspect was able to secure the doors within the church with chains and tried to disable locks within the church with superglue. He started shooting inside the building and five people were wounded by gunshots and Mr. Cheng, as I mentioned, lost his life,” Barnes said.

8 News Now reporter Joe Moeller has learned Chou was living in a local apartment in the Spring Valley area west of Chinatown until sometime around February.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes holds a news conference. (KLAS)

Reporter Joe Moeller has learned Chou was living in a local apartment in the Spring Valley area west of Chinatown until sometime around February.

David Chou lived in the Spring Valley apartment until sometime around Feb. 2022. (KLAS)

Balmore Orellana said he was Chou’s neighbor and describes Chou as an overall “friendly” person. Orellana did say he knew Chou had a gun because Chou accidentally fired a bullet through his wall near a child’s bed.

Balmore Orellana said this is the damage caused by the bullet David Chou accidentally fired through the wall into his apartment, above a child’s bed. (KLAS)

Dr. John Cheng, 52, was killed in the shooting. As of Monday, two of the shooting victims are in good condition, two others are stable, and a fifth person’s condition has not been updated.

It’s estimated as many as three dozen people were in the Irvine Geneva Presbyterian Church for a lunch reception at the time of the shooting.

Dr. John Cheng was killed in the shooting after he tackled the gunman. (KLAS)

Barnes said Cheng took heroic actions and so did the congregation, which resulted in many lives being saved.

“It is known that Dr. Cheng charged the individual, the suspect, attempted to disarm him which allowed other parishioners to intercede, taking the suspect into custody,” Barnes said. “The majority of people in attendance were elderly. They acted spontaneously, heroically.”

Federal law enforcement said two 9 mm semi-automatic guns belonging to Chou were collected as part of the evidence. The guns were purchased legally by Chou in Las Vegas in 2015 and 2017. Additional rounds of ammunition and Molotov cocktails were also found.

The FBI has initiated a federal hate crimes investigation into the shooting.