Las Vegas man faces nearly 100 charges over California church shooting

May 11 (UPI) -- A 69-year-old Las Vegas man accused of committing a mass shooting at a Southern California church last spring has been indicted on nearly 100 counts, including dozens of hate crime charges.

The indictment announced Thursday by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California charges David Chou with killing one person and attempting to kill 44 others at the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, Calif., on May 15 of last year.


Authorities said a 86-year-old Asian woman and four Asian men whose ages ranged from 66 to 92 were also wounded from gunfire in the shooting, which only ended when church attendees tackled Chou and then "hogtied" his legs with an extension cord.

Federal prosecutors said Chou is accused of shooting up the Taiwanese church over its congregation's place of origin and their religion.

The indictment includes 45 counts of obstructing free exercise of religious beliefs by force, resulting in death and the attempted killing of 44 people. He also faces 45 counts of violating the hate crimes prevention act by attacking the church congregants over their taiwanese origin and Presbyterian faith.

six counts of using a fire arm and one count of carrying explosives has also been filed against Chou, who is believed to have planned on bombing the church.


Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes told CBS News that Chou was "very intentional" in his targeting of the religious congregation.

"We know that he formulated a strategy that he wanted to employ," Barnes said. "It was very well thought-out, from how he had prepared both being there, securing the locations, placing things about the inside of the room to perpetuate additional victims if he had the opportunity."

Authorities said he had two legally purchased hands guns and two bags of Molotov cocktail-like explosives at the scene.

If convicted, Chou could be sentenced to death or life in prison without parol.

Chou was charged with one felony count of murder and five felony counts of attempted murder last year in Orange County.

Federal prosecutors said he remains in state custody as additional state criminal charges are pending.

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