Press Releases

Rep. Porter Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Honor Laguna Woods Church Shooting Hero

Legislation would posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Dr. John Cheng

WASHINGTON—Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA) and Congresswoman Michelle Steel (R-CA) introduced bipartisan legislation to commission a Congressional Gold Medal for Dr. John Cheng, an Orange County resident who was killed while confronting an active shooter at Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods last month. Congressional Gold Medals express Congress’ highest appreciation for actions taken by an individual or institution.

“Dr. John Cheng is a hero, and his legacy must live on,” said Porter, whose Congressional district encompasses Laguna Woods. “Dr. Cheng undoubtedly saved lives when he charged the gunman attacking his mother’s church last month. Representative Steel and I are pushing to honor Dr. Cheng’s sacrifice and bestow him with Congress’ highest civilian award.”

Dr. Cheng was accompanying his mother to an event with her tight-knit Taiwanese congregation in Laguna Woods when he was shot while tackling an armed assailant. Dr. Cheng’s heroic actions enabled parishioners to hogtie the gunman, likely preventing other deaths. A Laguna Niguel resident, Dr. Cheng is survived by his wife and two children.

“Dr. John Cheng was a hero who represents the very best of Orange County,” said Steel, who represents Laguna Niguel in Congress. “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.”

A member of the Congressional Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Rep. Porter has consistently fought to protect Orange County families from gun violence. Porter recently urged Congressional leadership to hold separate votes on common sense gun safety measures, all of which passed the House with her support. She’s also pressed her colleagues to end the gun industry’s broad immunity in our justice system, called out special interests for misleading Congress about gun violence prevention, and hosted a town hall on safe gun storage. Earlier this month, Porter highlighted Dr. Cheng’s story in a Congressional hearing and participated in a moment of silence in his memory on the House floor.