Reps. Katie Porter, D-Irvine, and Michelle Steel, R- Huntington Beach, announced Wednesday they have teamed up to sponsor legislation to honor Dr. John Cheng, who was killed while stopping a shooting suspect in a Laguna Woods church, with a Congressional Gold Medal.
“Dr. John Cheng was a hero who represents the very best of Orange County,” Steel said. “With his bravery, he saved dozens of other lives and prevented an even bigger tragedy from occurring. I’m proud to support this effort to award him with a Congressional Gold Medal so that his courage will never be forgotten.”
Cheng’s “legacy must live on,” Porter said.
“Dr. Cheng undoubtedly saved lives when he charged the gunman attacking his mother’s church last month,” Porter said. “Representative Steel and I are pushing to honor Dr. Cheng’s sacrifice and bestow him with Congress’ highest civilian award.”
Cheng, who lived in Laguna Niguel, rushed the gunman and was shot while tackling him on May 15 inside the Geneva Presbyterian Church, authorities said. That gave other parishioners time to subdue the assailant and hold him for sheriff’s deputies.
David Wenwei Chou, 68, of Las Vegas, is awaiting trial on charges of special circumstances murder while lying in wait, five counts of attempted murder, four counts of possession of an explosive device and faces sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a firearm and a hate crime.
Authorities said Chou carried out the shooting due to a long-standing grievance against the Taiwanese community over tensions with China.