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California church attack suspect charged with first-degree murder

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US authorities say David Chou, the accused gunman in Sunday’s deadly attack at a southern California church, was motivated by hatred of Taiwanese people [Orange County Sheriff’s Department via AP Photo]

Prosecutors in the United States have charged the suspect in a deadly weekend shooting at a California church with one count of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder.

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said on Tuesday that David Chou, 68, of Las Vegas faces an added charge for “lying in wait”, as well as four counts of possessing destructive devices with intent to kill or harm.

David Chou, the alleged gunman in Sunday's deadly attack at a Southern California church.

Authorities have said Chou, a US citizen who grew up in Taiwan, was motivated by hatred of Taiwanese people when he opened fire during a Sunday luncheon for members of Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in the community of Laguna Woods.

The FBI has opened a federal hate crimes investigation.

If convicted by a jury, Chou would face either life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, Spitzer said. (Al Jazeera)

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