One day after a racist 18-year-old gunman slaughtered ten people at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, deputies in Orange County, California, responded to reports of a shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Sunday.
One person was killed and five others were injured, according to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
The suspect is in custody and a weapon was recovered at the scene, a Presbyterian church in a suburban Southern California community where the majority of residents are seniors.
The shooting was reported shortly before 1:30 p.m. at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the city of Laguna Woods, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said on Twitter.
A fifth injured person suffered minor injuries, officials said. All the victims were adults.
Deputies detained a suspect, an adult male, and recovered a weapon at the scene, officials said.
It wasn’t immediately clear where inside the church the shooting happened but the majority of the 30 people who witnessed the violence are believed to be of Taiwanese descent, said Carrie Braun, a sheriff’s spokesperson.
Investigators were looking at many factors, including whether the bloodshed could be a hate crime and whether the gunman was known to the church community, she said.
Federal agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were responding to the scene. The FBI was also sending agents to the scene to assist the sheriff.
Laguna Woods was built as a senior living community and later became a city. More than 80% of residents in the city of 18,000 people about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles are at least 65.
The Orange County Fire Authority also posted that they were on the scene and “treating and transporting multiple patients.”
“This is upsetting and disturbing news, especially less than a day after a mass shooting in Buffalo,” said U.S. Rep Katie Porter, whose district includes Laguna Woods. “This should not be our new normal. I will work hard to support the victims and their families.”
Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers is suggesting that the Buffalo mass murder was a false flag operation by the FBI, with a post on Telegram that said: “Fed boy summer has started in Buffalo.
Saturday afternoon, 18-year-old Payton Gendron allegedly opened fire in a grocery store, killing 10 and wounding 3 others.
The gunman live-streamed the attack on the Twitch gaming platform.
Eleven of the 13 victims who were shot were Black, and the gunman had posted a long manifesto containing racist and anti-Semitic views.
Gendron eventually surrendered to police and was taken into custody.
Rogers is far from the only denizen of the far-right to baselessly suggest that the mass murder allegedly perpetrated by Gendron was a false flag event.
White supremacist Nick Fuentes, who organizes the annual America First Political Action Conference (AFPAC), posted on his Telegram account a link to a news report about the shooting shortly after it occurred with the comment “New false flag.”
Florida congressional candidate Laura Loomer posted on Truth Social a similar sentiment Saturday, sharing a news article and commenting that it was “[i]nteresting timing in how this seems to happen every single election season, during midterm elections like clockwork when Democrats are in power.”