Orange County

Calif. Church Shooting Suspect Disapproved of Taiwan, US Governments: Acquaintances

The California shooting suspect’s contacts shed light on his interactions, anti-police stance and beliefs about China-Taiwan unification

AP Photo/Ashley Landis

After the deadly shooting Sunday at a Taiwanese church in Southern California, those who interacted with suspect David Chou are sharing past interactions, trying to make sense of the tragedy. 

Acquaintances who had gathered with the 68-year-old suspect several times over the years through the Taiwanese Association of Las Vegas reflected on the shooting Sunday, which killed one person and injured five other people. They described him as “very negative” and recalled his controversial political views and disapproval for law enforcement and the U.S. and Taiwanese governments. 

The Las Vegas resident, who was born in Taiwan, has been charged with one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder in the shooting at a brunch hosted by Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which law enforcement has described as a “politically motivated hate incident.”

Police say investigators found notes in the alleged shooter's car that proved he had “hatred of the Taiwanese people.” They said the man — who is accused of attacking churchgoers during a celebration lunch for Pastor Billy Chang, who had just returned from Taiwan — “was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan.” 

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