SANTA ANA — The man accused of opening fire on a church congregation in Southern California over his political hatred of Taiwan has called himself a “destroying angel” in a seven-volume journal sent to a newspaper before the attack, the newspaper said on Wednesday.
David Chou, 68, spent $16.10 to send seven large photocopied volumes of handwritten Chinese text and a USB drive to the world newspaper office in Monterey Park, according to photos published in the Chinese-language newspaper.
The newspaper said the pages were titled “Diary of an Angel Destroying Independence” in an apparent reference to Taiwan’s self-government. The Chinese Communist Party continues to demand the reunification of Taiwan with China.
The diary pages were received in the Daily Mail on Monday, a day after authorities said Chou opened fire at a luncheon of older parishioners at Irvine Taiwan Presbyterian Church in the community of Laguna Woods.
The newspaper did not report the contents of the logs and no one apparently read them before sending them to the police through the newspaper’s lawyer, said an employee who declined to be named because he was not allowed to speak openly.
The newspaper’s lawyer, however, said The Orange County RegisterWednesday at the end of the day, that the papers were given to him, Tuesday at the end of the day, and that he still had them.
West Covina attorney Maxwell Lin said he would share the documents with law enforcement when he receives a subpoena.
“We have no intention of holding anything back,” Lin told the Register.
Lin could not confirm the reported title.
“The document will speak for itself, but what you call it is up to a reporter’s interpretation,” said Lin, who hadn’t fully read the papers.
“Time will tell how important” logs are, Lin told the Register.
Investigators were aware of reports that the logs had been sent to the newspaper, according to Orange County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Carrie Braun.
One person was killed in the shooting and five others were injured. Chou faces life in prison or the death penalty if convicted of murder and attempted murder. He has not yet pleaded guilty and remained jailed without bond in Orange County pending a June 10 arraignment.
County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said Chou was motivated by hatred of Taiwan, where he was born after his family was forced out of mainland China when communists prevailed in a simmering civil war. ended in 1949. He apparently chose the church at random and didn’t know anyone there until he traveled to California from Las Vegas on Saturday, authorities said.
Authorities said Chou attended a church service before attending the luncheon honoring a former pastor, where he mingled with parishioners for about 40 minutes before chaining and nailing the doors of exit closed and open fire.
When the gunfire broke out, Dr. John Cheng, 52, charged Chou and was shot, but authorities said he broke up the attack and may have saved dozens of lives .
Former pastor Billy Chang then picked up a chair and threw it at Chou, who fell to the floor. Chang said he rushed Chou and several members of the congregation held Chou down and tied him up.