TTUHSC says alum’s sacrifice in California shooting was ‘heroism in its purest form’

Published: May. 16, 2022 at 10:31 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Orange County Sheriff and the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center say a graduate of the TTU School of Medicine died a hero, after he died stopping a 68-year-old Las Vegas man accused of attacking a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, California.

Officials with the Sheriff’s Department say this was “a politically motivated hate incident.”

People at the church were there to celebrate a pastor’s return. Officials say the shooter went in during lunchtime, chained the doors and tried to gum up the locks with super glue to prevent anyone from escaping. The gunman, identified as David Chou, then started firing, wounding at least five people. That is when police say Dr. John Cheng jumped into action.

Witnesses described Cheng’s heroic actions to authorities. Cheng probably saved the lives “of upwards of dozens of people,” the Sheriff said.

In a statement to KCBD Monday evening, The Texas Tech Health Sciences Center says Dr. Cheng’s actions yesterday reflect his life-long dedication to service. The school honors his death “as heroism in its purest form.”

Dr. Cheng graduated from medical school in Lubbock in 1995, the “proud product” of a family of physicians who immigrated from Taiwan. He was devoted to patient care, and carried that practice all the way to southern California.

Read the full statement from the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the School of Medicine, here:

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the School of Medicine are deeply saddened to learn of the loss of alumnus John Cheng, M.D. We extend our sincerest condolences and prayers to Dr. Cheng’s family, including his wife, and their two children.

Dr. Cheng’s heroic acts in Sunday’s shooting at Geneva Presbyterian Church in California reflected his lifelong dedication to service. In a moment of crisis, he placed the lives of his neighbors before himself—and by every account, that act of selflessness and courage, which cost him his life, saved the lives of many others. It was heroism in its purest form.

Dr. Cheng was a 1995 graduate of the School of Medicine and the proud product of a family of physicians who immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan. He earned a reputation as an energetic student who was deeply devoted to patient care and carried that same ethic to his practice in Southern California, where he served the community as a beloved family and sports medicine physician. TTUHSC and the School of Medicine are deeply proud of the example and the legacy he leaves behind.

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