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Thread: Kung Fu Hero Dr. John Cheng

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Kung Fu Hero Dr. John Cheng

    Sheriff: OC shooting was motivated by hate; victim was 'hero'

    Congregants used an extension cord to hogtie the shooter and held him down until deputies arrived, authorities said.

    Credit: CBS 8
    Author: CBS 8 Staff
    Published: 2:28 PM PDT May 15, 2022
    Updated: 1:00 PM PDT May 16, 2022
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    ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. — A man who opened fire inside a Laguna Woods church, killing one person and injuring five others, had no connection to the Taiwanese congregation or anyone in it, but was a Chinese immigrant motivated by hate due to political tensions between China and Taiwan, Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said Monday.
    David Wenwei Chou, 68, of Las Vegas, Nevada, remains jailed on suspicion of one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder stemming from the 1:25 p.m. Sunday shooting at the Geneva Presbyterian Church at 24301 El Toro Road.
    He is accused of walking into the church as a Taiwanese congregation was holding a post-services banquet to honor a visiting pastor, barricading the doors so those inside could not escape, then initially mingling with parishioners but eventually opening fire, killing one person and injuring five others.
    Barnes said Chou also placed four incendiary devices inside the church, similar to Molotov cocktails. Investigators also found bags that Chou brought to the church containing additional ammunition.
    Dr. John Cheng, 52, a physician with South Bay Medical Group in Aliso Viejo, was killed when he charged the gunman and attempted to disarm him, Barnes said. Cheng is survived by a wife and two children.
    "Dr. Cheng is a hero in this incident," Barnes said, adding that the doctor's actions bought time for other parishioners to subdue the suspect and eventually hogtie him.
    "Without the actions of Dr. Cheng, there is no doubt there would be additional victims in this crime," Barnes said.
    The sheriff said investigators have determined the shooting was an isolated incident carried out solely by Chou, and the shooting was a "politically motivated hate incident." Barnes said the suspect "was upset about political tensions between China and Taiwan."
    Investigators were still working to determine why Chou, who was a licensed security guard in Nevada, chose the Orange County congregation to target, since he had no known ties to anyone connected with it.
    When the shooting erupted, parishioners took quick action. Cheng charged the gunman when he paused to reload his weapon. The pastor also threw a chair at the gunman, Barnes said, and others advanced on him, held him down and hogtied him with electrical cords.
    In addition to Cheng, five other people were shot:
    -- a 66-year-old man;
    -- a 92-year-old man;
    -- an 82-year-old man;
    -- a 75-year-old man;
    -- and an 86-year-old woman.
    None of their names have been released.
    Two semi-automatic handguns were taken from the attacker. Federal officials said Monday that Chou legally purchased the weapons in Las Vegas, one in 2015 and the other in 2017.
    Chou is expected to appear in Orange County Superior Court on Tuesday. He is facing a variety of possible state charges, but the FBI has also opened a federal hate crime investigation.
    Congregant Jerry Chen, 72, told the Los Angeles Times he was in a nearby kitchen at the church just before 1:30 p.m. Sunday when he heard the shots.
    "I heard the gun sounds," he said. "Then, I heard two or three more gunshots. He was just randomly shooting."
    Chen told the Times he then saw the pastor, Billy Chang, hit the gunman with a chair when the shooter paused to reload his weapon. That's when other members of the congregation tackled him.
    The Los Angeles branch of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives sent special agents to Laguna Woods to assist the OCSD with its investigation.
    Laguna Woods is an age-restricted community for people 55 and older. It opened as Leisure World in 1964.
    Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett of the Fifth District said the board was making sure mental health professionals would be made available to those impacted by the shooting.
    "A shooting at a church in Laguna Woods has left multiple people injured and one deceased. This is upsetting and disturbing news, especially less than a day after a mass shooting in Buffalo," said Rep. Katie Porter, D- Irvine, whose district includes Laguna Woods. "This should not be our new normal. I will work hard to support the victims and their families."
    Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn also weighed in, releasing the following statement regarding deadly gun violence in both Buffalo, New York and Orange County. "We cannot be a nation where multiple mass shootings in a single weekend is normal, where gun violence and the hate that so often drives it is tolerated. We need Congress to do something and pass the same, commonsense gun laws that every other modernized democracy has in place, and here in L.A. County, I am committed to getting as many guns off the street as I can."
    The office of California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted the following statement:
    "We are actively monitoring the shooting at a church in Laguna Woods and working closely with local law enforcement. No one should have to fear going to their place of worship. Our thoughts are with the victims, community, and all those impacted by this tragic event.
    The shooting came one day after a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, was targeted by a heavily armed shooter who killed 10 people and wounded three others. Authorities arrested an 18-year-old man in that crime, which they said was racially motivated. Eleven of the 13 victims were Black.
    Sen. Dave Min, D-Irvine, issued a statement extending his "thoughts and prayers," adding, "It is almost unthinkable that one of the safest places in the country would be hit by the specter of gun violence."
    "We should refuse to accept these tragedies as the new normal in our schools, our houses of worship or anywhere," Min said.
    Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Burbank, issued a statement, saying, "It is horrifying to be grieving yet another tragic shooting in just 72 hours -- another weekend in America defined by senseless violence.
    "Tonight, my heart is with the congregants of Geneva Presbyterian Church and the entire Laguna Woods community as they mourn and pray for their loved ones. My heart is also with those in Buffalo, in Milwaukee, and every community torn apart by gun violence."
    Schiff concluded by adding, "I will never accept this bloodshed as unavoidable. It can be stopped. But as we've seen over the past few days, months and years, unless we take immediate action on gun safety measures, history will repeat itself. Again and again. Enough is enough. We must act."
    Dr. John Cheng was a well known Kung Fu man. I didn't know him personally, but I knew of him.

    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    More on Dr. Cheng

    Hero who stopped California church shooter grew up in East Texas

    By Jessica Payne and Scott Brunner

    May 17, 2022 Updated 10 hrs ago

    A man being heralded as a hero for intervening in a recent hate-fueled shooting in California spent his formative years in East Texas.

    Dr. John Cheng, who graduated from Marshall High School in 1987 and whose best friend runs a martial arts business in Tyler, died Sunday after tackling a man who had opened fire on parishioners during a lunch at a Laguna Woods church.

    According to the Associated Press, the gunman chained the doors to the church Sunday and put super glue in keyholes to seal it. He was armed with two handguns and three bags containing incendiary devices and extra ammunition. He began shooting and in the ensuing chaos, the 52-year-old Cheng tackled the shooter, allowing other parishioners to subdue him and tie him up with extension cords.

    Cheng died and five people were wounded.

    Laguna Woods Sheriff Don Barnes called Cheng’s heroism “a meeting of good versus evil” that probably saved the lives “of upwards of dozens of people.”

    Brandon Jones, who owns Tyler Kung Fu & Fitness, had been friends with Cheng since the pair met at David Crockett Elementary School in Marshall. He said the hero moniker for his closest friend is one that does not surprise him.

    “It’s completely befitting for John to be known as a hero,” Jones said. “He would have been embarrassed about it and he would have shrugged it off if he were here today, but that’s what a real hero does.”

    Dr. John Cheng, left, and Brandon Jones, right, pose with kung fu instructor Thomas Leverett.

    Jones said Cheng was at the church in Laguna Woods to honor his mother.

    “And he did so but in the most ultimate way — saving her and so many others,” he said.

    Jones said Cheng moved with his family from New Jersey to Marshall when he was 9 years old.

    “We became friends in fourth grade,” he said. “He was sitting behind me. He was drawing like Batman and Superman characters. He was a good artist.”

    The trait led to a fast friendship. Jones said he was a writer, while Cheng was an artist. So, Jones would create stories around the pictures “of the heroes” drawn by Cheng.

    “There we were meeting together over fictional heroes Batman and Superman, and now my friend died being a hero,” Jones said.

    Jones and Cheng graduated in the same class from Marshall High School. Afterward, Jones said he went to Stephen F. Austin State University, and Cheng went to Baylor before becoming a doctor and moving to California.

    Jones said martial arts training had been important to him and to Cheng since they were young. They met their kung fu teacher when they were 10 or 11 years old, he said.

    “My fondest memory is of us training in martial arts together in his backyard, and then watching kung fu movies at night while we ate his mom’s wonderful food,” Jones said.

    The training, Jones said, had prepared Cheng for a situation just like the one he encountered at a lunch held by Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church, which worships at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the community of Laguna Woods, as a shooter motivated by a hatred toward Taiwan attacked.

    “We spoke often of active shooter situations and dealing with those dangerous situations — of course, never thinking we would actually have to deal with it,” Jones said.

    The Harrison County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday released a statement about the former Marshall resident’s actions during the California church shooting.

    “If not for Dr. Cheng’s quick bravery Sunday, many more would’ve been injured or killed,” Sheriff BJ Fletcher said. “Although Dr. Cheng had moved on from our community, we still mourn a hero that sacrificed himself to safe others.”

    Jones called Cheng one of the “kindest, gentlest people I know.”

    “My heart is grieved. He was my best friend,” Jones said. “We cried, sweated and bled together. His family was my family, and my family was his. I’m grieved for his children and family, his mom and his brother.”
    My social media is full of tributes to Dr. Cheng from martial friends and associates who knew him.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

    Support our heroes

    I'm splitting this off of our Mass-public-shootings-on-the-rise-but-why thread into its own indie - Kung Fu Hero Dr. John Cheng

    Support Dr. John Cheng's family

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    Funerals & Memorials
    Dr. John Cheng was a pillar in our community and dedicated his life to protecting and healing those around him. He was a family man with a passion for medicine and teaching. This drive helped him build a thriving medical practice that has been the cornerstone of our community for over 20 years. He was well-loved by both his patients, peers and treated everyone around him like family. He was admired as a beacon of compassion, respected for his medical expertise by both colleagues and patients, and a paragon of courage

    He touched the lives of many through his countless acts of service. Taking the time to know each and every patient, going above and beyond to find solutions and care for the whole person. When he was not caring for patients, he was at home with his wife and two children, serving at his church or teaching martial arts. Outside of his clinic, he also volunteered at local high schools and was Medical Director for the health center at SOKA University. He loved to teach and share his love of medicine, fostering the next generation of health care providers.

    His heroism saved so many people NOT only at that church but throughout his career. His family is grief-stricken by this loss which comes only three months after the loss of Dr. Cheng's father. Dr. Cheng was the sole provider supporting his two children in high school and his wife. They are heartbroken and reeling from the loss of their father. As his colleagues, family and community, we want to honor his life by supporting his family during this difficult time. All proceeds will go to funeral costs and help his family.
    Gene Ching
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  4. #4
    Very sad.

    He was a hero, for sure!

  5. #5

    I was greatly saddened when I saw his name mentioned. I remember him from the competition footage from Sifu Jeff Bolt's tournaments in Texas. He was a very good competitor.

    My condolences to Dr Cheng's family and to the Texas Praying Mantis Community.


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