Chinese Immigrant Suspect in Anti-Taiwanese Hate Crime Shooting at Church

Geneva Presbyterian Church (Mario Tama / Getty)
Mario Tama / Getty

The man suspected of killing one congregant and wounding four others in a shooting Sunday at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Orange County, California, was a naturalized Chinese immigrant who allegedly acted out of hatred for Taiwan, officials said.

Taiwan, an island officially known as the Republic of China, is a capitalist country to which nationalist Chinese fled from the mainland after Mao Zedong’s communists won a civil war in 1949. The People’s Republic of China claims Taiwan as its own.

The issue is a flashpoint in the western Pacific, and a sore spot for China, which resents Taiwan’s economic integration into the western world, its relative freedom, and its tentative military alliances with the U.S. and other geopolitical rivals.

The Orange County Register reported Monday:

The man accused of killing one and injuring four others with gunfire inside a Laguna Woods church on Sunday while a Taiwanese Presbyterian group was meeting was motivated by tensions between the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan, Orange County’s sheriff said.

David Wenwei Chou, a 68-year-old Las Vegas resident, lived in the United States for decades after immigrating here from China. He is a United States citizen, although his wife and a son do not live in the U.S.

Detectives found evidence that Chou “was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan,” Sheriff Don Barnes said, including notes in Chou’s vehicle showing “his hatred of the Taiwanese people.”

Congregants apparently subdued the shooter by tying him up with an extension cord as they waited for police to arrive. On congregant, Dr. John Cheng, 52, of Laguna Niguel, was killed while shielding others, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Taiwanese church shooting followed the mass shooting Saturday in Buffalo, in which a white supremacist attacked a grocery store in a black neighborhood and murdered ten people.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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