Dr. John Cheng

WASHINGTON — Reps. Michelle Steel (R-Huntington Beach) and Katie Porter (D-Irvine) on June 22 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 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.”

Reps. Katie Porter and Michelle Steel

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. His heroic actions enabled parishioners to hogtie the gunman, likely preventing other deaths. A Laguna Niguel resident, Cheng is survived by his wife and two children.

“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. Rep. Steel and I are pushing to honor Dr. Cheng’s sacrifice and bestow him with Congress’ highest civilian award.” 

Earlier this month, Steel hosted a moment of silence in Cheng’s memory on the House floor.

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