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NATSA Statement on Laguna Woods Church Shooting 

May 26th, 2022

We are heartbroken for this tragedy. It is with profound grief and outrage that we write this statement to condemn the Laguna Woods Church Shooting. On Sunday, May 15th, a gunman opened fire at a luncheon held by the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church. Dr. John Cheng, one of the youngest people amongst the predominantly senior attendees, paid the ultimate price by confronting the gunman. Because of Dr. Cheng’s immediate and courageous action, other churchgoers were able to disarm and hogtie the gunman, and minimize damage. 


According to authorities, the suspect was motivated by his political hostility towards the Taiwanese community. This targeted attack took away Dr. Cheng’s life and wounded five others. Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church community, as well as the broader Taiwanese and Taiwanese American community whose identity and lives were singled out for extreme violence. 


It can be deeply traumatizing to realize that your identity would cause you to be held at gunpoint. If you find yourself having a hard time processing the trauma of the Laguna Woods Church Shooting, you are by no means alone. We all require different forms of support to heal from the wounds that this attack has inflicted on our community. We thereby encourage everyone who is suffering in the aftermath of this hate crime to seek emotional and communal support. Accordingly, we have included a list of gatherings and resources below this statement. 


In solidarity,

The 2022 North American Taiwan Studies Association Team 




For those seeking a community space to mourn and heal, we want to bring your attention to several commemorations happening later this week:


|Dr. John Cheng’s Memorial Service 

Time: Friday, May 27th, 6-8pm (PT)

Venue: Aliso Niguel High School Stadium

For more information, please refer to:


|Four Saturday Vigils 


[SoCal Vigil]

Time: Saturday, May 28th, 8-9 pm (PT)

Venue: Geneva Presbyterian Church (24301 El Toro Rd., Laguna Hills, CA 92607)

Event Page:


[Bay Area Vigil]

Time: Saturday, May 28th, 8-9 pm (PT)

Venue: Stanford Main Quad, in front of the Stanford Memorial Church (450 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305)

Event Page:


[Boston Vigil]

Time: Saturday, May 28th, 8-9 pm (EST)

Venue: Harvard Square, Harvard University (1400 Massachusetts Ave Boston, MA 02128)

Event Page:


[Live Stream Vigil]

Time: Saturday, May 28th, 8-9 pm (PT)

Webex link:




For those who are willing to help the victims of this shooting and the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church community, please refer to this Gofundme page established to support Dr. Cheng’s family (, or contact the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church through their website ( 


|Other resources 

Asian Mental Health Collective

If you are located in the greater Irvine area (or anywhere in SoCal) and need support, please do not hesitate to reach out to UCI Taiwanese Graduate Students Association (, regardless of student status. 

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