On Thursday, federal prosecutors made an announcement that Chou has been charged with 98 counts of hate crimes, weapons, and explosives offenses.
According to prosecutors, Chou has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Santa Ana on 45 counts of obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs by force, which led to the death of one person and involved attempts to kill 44 others.
Additionally, Chou has been charged with 45 counts of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The charges stem from Chou’s alleged attacks on church congregants due to their perceived Taiwanese national origin and Presbyterian faith.
In addition, he has been charged with six counts of utilizing a firearm while committing a violent crime, one count of carrying explosives while committing a federal felony offense, and one count of endeavoring to set fire to or demolish a building used in interstate commerce by utilizing fire and explosives.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has released a police booking photo of David Chou, the suspect in the Laguna Woods church shooting. Chou, who is 68 years old and from Las Vegas, is shown in the photo that was made public on May 16, 2022.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has released a police booking photo of David Chou, the 68-year-old suspect in the Laguna Woods church shooting. Chou hails from Las Vegas.
The Orange County Sheriff’s Department has released a statement via Reuters.
According to prosecutors, Chou could potentially receive a life sentence without parole or the death penalty if found guilty of the federal charges. As of now, according to online court records, there is no attorney information available for him.
According to reports, Chou is currently in state custody facing charges that include murder with a hate crime enhancement and five counts of attempted murder in relation to the shooting incident. Last year, he entered a plea of not guilty to the state charges.
According to prosecutors, the suspected gunman in the California church shooting could potentially face the death penalty. The suspect, identified as Chou, reportedly attempted to prevent victims from escaping by using superglue to seal the doors shut. Additionally, authorities claim that Chou placed ammunition and Molotov cocktails around the Geneva Presbyterian Church.
In a tragic incident, Dr. John Cheng, aged 52, lost his life while attempting to disarm the gunman during the attack. The incident also resulted in injuries to five other individuals due to gunfire. According to authorities, a shooter was detained and had his legs hogtied with an extension cord by a group of churchgoers.
According to officials, Chou is an American citizen of Chinese descent. According to authorities, Chou’s anger is believed to have originated during his time in Taiwan, where he reportedly felt like an outsider and his anti-Taiwan views were not embraced. As tensions between China and Taiwan escalated, his views became more radical.
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