LAGUNA WOODS, Calif. (KABC) -- The man who allegedly shot and killed one person and injured five others at a church in Orange County last year has been charged with dozens of federal hate crimes, officials said.
In the indictment announced Thursday, David Chou of Las Vegas was charged with 98 counts in connection with the attack, including weapons and explosives charges and forcefully obstructing the free exercise of religion.
Note: The video in the media player above is from a previous report.
If convicted, Chou faces a maximum penalty of death or life in prison without parole. He is currently in state custody pending state criminal charges.
Investigators said the attack was motivated by political hatred of Taiwan.
Authorities said the 69-year-old chained and nailed shut exit doors to the room May 15, 2022, before launching the attack on a gathering of older parishioners from the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods.
Chou was armed with two handguns and bags holding ammunition and four Molotov cocktail-style devices and was motivated by hatred of Taiwan, where he grew up, investigators said.
The person killed was identified as 52-year-old John Cheng, a prominent doctor who specialized in sports medicine from Laguna Niguel. After the attack, he was credited with saving dozens of lives when he tackled Chou and tried to disarm him, allowing others to jump in and help.
Cheng was shot several times during the struggle and died at the scene.
Chou was charged last year by Orange County prosecutors with murder, attempted murder and other counts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.