One person is killed and four others are critically wounded in shooting, US officials say, just one day after a white teenager killed 10 people in a racially motivated attack in New York.

Laguna Woods is a city of about 16,000 people located some 81 kilometres southeast of downtown Los Angeles.
Laguna Woods is a city of about 16,000 people located some 81 kilometres southeast of downtown Los Angeles. (AFP)

One person has been killed and four others critically wounded in a shooting at a Southern California church, authorities said, just a day after a white gunman shot dead 10 people in New York, in the latest act of mass violence in a country unsettled by racial tensions, gun violence and a recent spate of hate crimes. 

Sunday's shooting happened at Geneva Presbyterian Church in the city of Laguna Woods, the Orange County Sheriff's Department said on Twitter.

A fifth injured person suffered minor injuries, officials said. All the victims were adults.

The suspect in the shooting, an Asian man in his 60s, was in custody and deputies recovered two handguns at the scene, Undersheriff Jeff Hallock said. A motive for the shooting wasn't immediately known but investigators don't believe the gunman lives in the community, Hallock said.

Between 30 and 40 people were gathered for lunch after a morning church service when gunfire erupted shortly before 1:30 pm [local time], officials said. 

When deputies arrived, parishioners had the gunman hog-tied and in custody.

"That group of churchgoers displayed what we believe is exceptional heroism and bravery in intervening to stop the suspect. They undoubtedly prevented additional injuries and fatalities," Hallock said. "I think it's safe to say that had people not intervened, it could have been much worse."

'Disturbing news'

Pictures posted on social media appeared to show emergency vehicles lined up outside a church.

"This is upsetting and disturbing news, especially less than a day after a mass shooting in Buffalo," tweeted Democratic Congresswoman Katie Porter, who represents Orange County in Washington.

"This should not be our new normal."

Laguna Woods is a city of about 16,000 people located some 81 kilometres southeast of downtown Los Angeles. 

Many of the residents live at Laguna Woods Village, a sprawling 55-and-over community that dates back to the 1960s.

READ MORE: Several killed in ‘racially motivated’ shooting at New York supermarket

New York killings

The fresh shooting comes as the grieving residents from Buffalo held vigils after a white gunman who officials have branded "pure evil" shot dead 10 people at a grocery store in a "racist" rampage.

Authorities have not yet released the names of the 10 victims killed in the New York shooting, but local media and family members have identified some of them. 

Three people were also wounded in the shooting. Eleven people struck by gunfire were Black and two were white, officials said. The racial breakdown of the dead was not made clear.

READ MORE: Suspect takes own life after injuring four in shooting at US capital

Source: TRTWorld and agencies