When a gunman opened fire at an American church luncheon in Taiwan, Shui Su said he was frozen.
The retired appraiser uses a walker and said he and many elderly congregations didn’t immediately know what was going on. He said the shooter did not say anything before firing at the church-goers, who were photographing after finishing lunch after the prayer service last Sunday morning.
About a week later, Su said he could not sleep and was struggling to recover from the attack, which killed one and injured five in a near-congregation in the Southern California community of Laguna Woods. , which is largely made up of retirees.
“At the time, we weren’t scared,” he said. “Later, when we think about it, we get scared.”
Irwin made his remarks as survivors, church-goers and leaders of the Taiwanese Presbyterian Church joined in prayer on Saturday and thanked community members for their support at an event on the premises of the Geneva Presbyterian Church, where the Taiwanese congregation shared does.
Authorities say 68-year-old Las Vegas gunman David Chow was inspired by hatred of Taiwan, where he was born and raised when his family was forced from mainland China after Communists took control. Officials said he had no affiliation with the church, but spent nearly an hour with attendees to gain their trust so that he could carry out his plot.
Officials said Chow had two 9mm handguns and three bags containing four Molotov-cocktail-type incendiary devices and ammunition. He said that he locked the doors and stuck the locks before starting the shoot.
Dr. John Cheng, a 52-year-old son of a congregation, accused him and was shot. He died on the spot, but his quick action interrupted the shooter, who was then hit by a chair thrown by former church pastor Billy Chang, and jumped by several congregation members, who tied him up until police arrived. For used an extension cord. ,
Cheng Hee was the person killed. Five others were injured, including four men aged 66 to 92 and an 86-year-old woman.
The community is still plagued by the onslaught. At Saturday’s event, church-goers bowed their heads in prayer and many cried. Bouquets of sunflowers and roses were placed with “RIP Dr. Cheng” written on it.
Church leader Pastor Albany Lee, who was out last Sunday, said he remembered meeting with Cheng a few months ago while visiting family after Cheng’s father died. He added that Chang, who does not usually attend Taiwan’s congregation but took his mother there last week, is more than a hero in his eyes, but one of two angels who have accompanied Chang to the community. saved.
On Sunday, his congregation will resume its weekly prayer service. Security will be tight and media coverage will not be allowed on the Geneva campus.
Lee said trauma specialists will be available to assist the community for the next few weeks and it is important for many people to come together for worship despite the pain.
“I think this is the most important time that we need to come together as a faith community,” he said. “we can help each other.”