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Laguna Woods community responds following tragic shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church

Laguna Woods community comes together following fatal shooting at church
Laguna Woods community comes together following fatal shooting at church 01:49

A small Orange County community was left reeling in the wake of a tragic shooting that occurred at a local church Sunday afternoon, which left one man dead and five others wounded. 

Churchgoers at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods were tragically targeted by one man who fired multiple shots, striking six of their congregants. While the suspect was detained by those same church members, many are still left with questions as to why people were subject to such violence in their place of worship. 

Members of Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church - which holds a 10 a.m. service at the location every Sunday, were holding a lunch banquet when the shooting occurred. 

RELATED: One killed, multiple wounded in shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods

Community members and congregants of multiple churches across Orange County traveled to Laguna Woods Sunday evening to pay their respects to the victims of Sunday's events, leaving flowers and candles on a corner adjacent to the church. 

"As a resident of Orange County and a member of the faith community -- I go to Mariners Church in Irvine -- it's just overwhelming to know that this happens in your backyard," said Jordan Poblete, who left his bouquet of flowers in front of the church's sign. "Anyway that we can just be there. I'd love to meet the parishioners who come here to Geneva Presbyterian and want to offer my support and condolences."

Additionally, Orange County Sheriff's Department, the lead agency in Sunday's shooting, also deployed their Crisis K-9 named Henry at the Providence Mission Medical Center, where two of the victims were taken

Henry's primary job is to bring comfort to any party involved in a tragic incident, including victims, first responders and families. 

"When they see the dog, all the oxytocins flow, the blood pressure drops. All that good stuff just makes them feel so much better," said Steve Booth, Henry's K9 Handler and Orange County Sheriff's Department deputy. "Just that two minute interaction is huge."

Orange County's 5th District Supervisor Lisa Bartlett also made it clear during a press conference following the shooting that "the county's mental health counselors are available for the victims and their families."

During the same press conference, officials from OCSD also disclosed that mental health resources would be available to those affected by the shooting. 

Laguna Woods Mayor Carol Moore detailed how surrounding cities "immediately contacted and wanted to support." 

Several local politicians including Congressman Adam Schiff, Congresswoman Katie Porter and Senator Dave Min were among the many to offer their support for the Laguna Woods community and denounce the violence. 


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