Alleged church gunman David Chou sent a diary to the newspaper

The suspect, who is accused of gunning down a California church over his political hatred of Taiwan, called himself a “destructive angel” in a seven-volume diary he sent to a Chinese-language newspaper before the attack, the outlet said on Wednesday With.

David Chou, 68, spent $16.10 to mail seven thick, photocopied volumes of handwritten Chinese text and a USB flash drive to the World Journal’s office in Monterey Park, a Los Angeles suburb, as from photos published in the newspaper.

The magazine was titled, “Diary of an Angel Destroying Independence,” in an apparent reference to Taiwan’s self-government. The Chinese Communist Party continues to call for Taiwan’s reunification with China.

The diary pages were received on Monday, a day after Chou allegedly opened fire at a luncheon attended by elderly parishioners from the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church praying at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods Ward.

The newspaper did not publish the contents of the notebooks and no one there appeared to have read them before sending them to the police through the newspaper’s lawyer, said an employee who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to do so to speak.

David Chou
David Chou was armed with two legally acquired 9mm handguns and concealed pouches of ammunition.
Orange County Sheriff’s Department via AP

According to Orange County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun, investigators were aware of the reports that the diaries were sent to the newspaper. She didn’t know if the sheriff’s department or the FBI had her.

Chou could face life in prison and the death penalty if convicted of murder and attempted murder based on the shooting in which Dr. John Cheng, 52, was killed and five others injured.

He has yet to enter a plea and remains detained without bail in Orange County pending arraignment on June 10.

Former pastor Billy Chang and others are holding suspected gunman David Chou
Former pastor Billy Chang and others are holding suspected gunman David Chou inside the church.
Frank Chen

District Attorney Todd Spitzer said Chou, a US citizen, was motivated by hatred of Taiwan, where he was born, after his family was forcibly evicted from mainland China when the Communists gained the upper hand in a civil war that ended in 1949 won.

He apparently picked the church at random and didn’t know anyone there before driving from Las Vegas to California last Saturday, authorities said.

Authorities said Chou sat through a service before attending a luncheon honoring a former pastor, where he mingled with parishioners for about 40 minutes before chaining and nailing exit doors and opening fire.

When the shots broke out, Dr. Cheng, a sports medicine doctor, attacked Chou and was shot, but authorities said he disrupted the attack and potentially saved dozens of lives.

A police car is seen after a deadly shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods
A police car is seen after the deadly shooting in Laguna Woods.
REUTERS/David Swanson

Former pastor Billy Chang then picked up a chair and threw it at Chou, who fell to the ground. Chang said he rushed toward Chou, and several parishioners held Chou down and tied him with an extension cord.

Chou was armed with two legally purchased 9mm handguns and concealed bags of ammunition and four Molotov cocktail-style devices in the church hall, authorities said.

The wounded ranged in age from 66 to 92 and were expected to survive.

With postal wires Alleged church gunman David Chou sent a diary to the newspaper


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