1 dead, 3 injured in shooting at Korean retreat near Temecula
Updated, 8:40 a.m.PST: Sgt. Michael Lujan of the Riverside County Sheriff's Department said deputies received a call at 7:25 p.m. Tuesday of shots fired. They arrived at the scene to find one woman dead and her husband shot in the torso inside their bungalow.
The 72-year-old suspected gunman moved to another bungalow and tried to shoot another couple, but they fought back. Lujan said the scene was extremely violent.
"They were going at it hand to hand," he said. "There was physical evidence that a significant altercation took place. Furniture was turned over, there was damage to the door, damage to the fixtures."
The couple, said to be in their 50s, successfully subdued their attacker and all three suffered injuries in the fight, Lujan said. The man who was shot is expected to survive and the other injured were taken to area hospitals.
The alleged attacker was known as "Uncle" around the picturesque camp sitting in a valley a few miles off Highway 79 near Temecula. His name was not released and police were still processing the scene. The camp provides food and aid to the homeless, who also live on the property, Lujan said.
Detectives are investigating a deadly shooting at a Korean Christian retreat center in the hills east of Temecula that left one person dead and three others injured, authorities said today.
The suspected gunman was among the injured and hospitalized, Temecula police said. His condition was unknown.
Deputies, police and emergency rescue vehicles descended on the rural, mountainous area along California 79 after a report Tuesday at 7:23 p.m. of an assault with a deadly weapon, said Deputy Herlinda Valenzuela with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.
Initial reports indicated there were several victims, she said. Two people with gunshot wounds were initially found and taken to the hospital. As investigators searched the dark, sprawling retreat, two more victims in critical condition were discovered, Valenzuela said.
Sheriff's Department spokesman Dennis Gutierrez said investigators had a difficult time communicating with witnesses.
“Because of the language barrier, we don’t know who the shooter is yet. But we feel there is no one out in the community who is armed,” Gutierrez said.
The Kkottongnae Retreat Camp, run by the Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus, is in the 38700 block of Highway 79. Kkottongnae means “flower village” in Korean and is a Christian social service organization founded in Korea. It offers help to orphans and the homeless and expanded to Los Angeles County in the late 1990s.
It has branches in Lynwood, the Temecula area, Atlanta and New Jersey, according to its website. Its mission, the website says, is to provide the "homeless and the abandoned with care and love in the hope that they will realize the love of God and find peace as the children of God."