SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — The person accused of opening fire on a Southern California church congregation due to his political hatred for Taiwan dubbed himself a “destroying angel” in a seven-volume diary despatched to a newspaper earlier than the assault, the paper mentioned Wednesday.
David Chou, 68, spent $16.10 to mail seven thick photocopied volumes of handwritten Chinese language textual content and a flash drive to the World Journal workplace within the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park, based on photographs printed within the Chinese language-language paper.
The pages bore the title: “Diary of an Angel Destroying Independence” in an obvious reference to Taiwan’s self-government. The Chinese language Communist Social gathering continues to demand Taiwan reunify with China.
The diary pages had been obtained Monday, in the future after Chou allegedly opened fireplace at a lunch gathering of aged parishioners at Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in the neighborhood of Laguna Woods.
The newspaper didn’t report the contents of the diaries and no person there apparently learn by way of them earlier than sending them to the police by way of the paper’s legal professional, mentioned an worker who declined to be named as a result of they weren’t licensed to talk overtly.
Investigators had been conscious of the studies that the journals had been despatched to the newspaper, based on Orange County sheriff’s spokesperson Carrie Braun. She didn’t know if the sheriff’s division or FBI had taken possession of them as of Wednesday afternoon.
Chou might face life in jail or the dying penalty if convicted of homicide and tried homicide. He has not but entered a plea and remained jailed with out bail in Orange County pending a June 10 arraignment.
County District Lawyer Todd Spitzer has mentioned Chou was motivated by hatred for Taiwan, the place he was born after his household was compelled from mainland China when Communists prevailed in a civil warfare that resulted in 1949. He apparently selected the church at random and didn’t know anybody there earlier than he drove to California from Las Vegas on Saturday, authorities mentioned.
Authorities have mentioned Chou sat by way of a church service earlier than attending the luncheon in honor of a former pastor, the place he mingled with the parishioners for about 40 minutes earlier than chaining and nailing shut exit doorways and opening fireplace.
When the gunfire erupted, Dr. John Cheng, 52, charged Chou and was shot however authorities mentioned he disrupted the assault and should have saved dozens of lives.
The previous pastor, Billy Chang, then picked up a chair and threw it at Chou, who fell on the ground. Chang mentioned he rushed at Chou and several other congregation members held Chou down and tied him up.
Chou was armed with two legally bought 9 mm handguns and hid baggage holding ammunition and 4 Molotov cocktail-style gadgets within the church corridor the place the luncheon was being held, authorities mentioned.
The wounded ranged in age from 66 to 92 and had been anticipated to outlive.
The taking pictures shook Southern California’s Taiwanese neighborhood.
“I’m beginning to fear about our folks,” Dr. Simon Lin, a frontrunner on the Taiwan Heart Basis of Los Angeles, mentioned at a information convention. “The Taiwan Heart could be very pleasant. It’s open to the general public. We by no means examine your background.”
The small neighborhood heart lacks the funds to rent full-time safety, he added.
Louis M. Huang, director normal of the Taipei Financial and Cultural Workplace in Los Angeles, mentioned he has confidence in U.S. regulation enforcement to hold out the investigation and that justice could be served.
He referred to as on Taiwanese Individuals to respect variations in opinion however mentioned nobody has a proper to infringe on different folks’s rights or to take somebody’s life.
He urged neighborhood members to report back to the police in the event that they see one thing that considerations them.
“Don’t maintain silent,” he mentioned.
Related Press journalists John Antczak in Los Angeles and Ken Ritter in Las Vegas contributed to this report.