Dr. John Cheng Hailed as Hero for Charging Gunman in Taiwanese Church

John Cheng (Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty)
Robyn Beck / AFP / Getty

Dr. John Cheng, a 52-year-old sports medicine specialist, is being hailed as a hero for charging the gunman who targeted the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, Orange County, California, on Sunday, saving lives at the cost of his own.

The Los Angeles Times reported:

The churchgoer killed when a gunman opened fire at a Laguna Woods church Sunday was a sports medicine doctor and master of martial arts who was slain while trying to stop the shooting, authorities said Monday.

Orange County sheriff’s officials said that when the suspect began shooting, Dr. John Cheng put himself in the line of fire and tried to prevent others from being shot.

According to the visiting pastor, Cheng, 52, of Laguna Niguel, was not a regular at the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which met Sundays at the Geneva Presbyterian Church, but had brought his mother to a special event honoring the former longtime pastor.

The Orange County Register reported:

Cheng also was a martial arts enthusiast, and he was big on youth sports and keeping children and young adults active.

Andrew Mashburn, the athletic director at Aliso Niguel [High School], said Cheng was the football team’s physician and ran yearly physicals with all the student-athletes.

“We just finished working with him last Wednesday where he personally cleared 400 of our student-athletes for participation in athletics for the 22/23 school year,” Mashburn said. “Dr. Cheng was an amazing man. Kind, caring, happy. He was calm, cool and collected and we were blessed to be able to work with him and his staff. Such a devastating loss for our community.”

The alleged gunman, a naturalized Chinese immigrant, was tied up by congregants after Dr. Cheng charged him. Dr. Cheng was the only person who died; four others were wounded. The motive for the attack, which is being called a hate crime, was apparently anger against Taiwan amid growing tensions with mainland China.

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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