• A gunman opened fire at a church in Laguna Woods, California, on Sunday.
  • Police said parishioners displayed "heroism and bravery" by detaining the suspect.
  • The churchgoers "undoubtedly prevented additional injuries and fatalities," police said.

A group of parishioners confronted a gunman who opened fire at their church in Southern California on Saturday, authorities said.

Police were called to the Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods on Sunday afternoon after a mass shooting at a lunch banquet that followed the morning service. One victim was pronounced dead at the scene while five who were injured, four critically, were transported to the hospital.

Orange County Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said churchgoers were able to quickly detain the suspect and tie him up before deputies arrived at the scene.

"We believe a group of churchgoers detained him and hog-tied his legs with an extension cord and confiscated at least two weapons from him," Hallock said during a press conference.

He said the churchgoers displayed "exceptional heroism and bravery in intervening to stop the suspect."

"They undoubtedly prevented additional injuries and fatalities," he said, adding there were about 30 to 40 people inside the church at the time of the shooting.

Deputies detained the suspect upon arrival and recovered two guns. The suspect has not been named but Hallock said he was an Asian male adult in his 60s. He added that police do not believe he is from the area and are investigating to determine a motive or whether the suspect was connected to the victims or the church.

Laguna Woods Mayor Pro Tem Cynthia Conners told reporters at the scene that most of the congregants present at the event where the shooting occurred were Taiwanese, adding that the church building is a shared space.

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