One Dead, Multiple Injured in San Diego Synagogue Shooting

April 27, 2019
Screenshot from Facebook.

(JTA) — A shooting at a Chabad synagogue in Poway, a city in San Diego County, California, left one person dead and multiple people injured, including a child.

Police there detained a white 19-year old San Diego man in connection with the shooting, and hospitals said they were taking in wounded people. The man left an “open letter” prior to the shooting, law enforcement said.

“A man has been detained for questioning in connection with a shooting incident at the Chabad of Poway synagogue,” the San Diego County Sheriff’s office said Saturday afternoon on Twitter. “@SDSOPoway Deputies were called to Chabad Way just before 11:30 a.m. There are injuries. This is a developing situation.”

Sheriff William Dore said in a press conference that the fatality was an adult woman. The three injured were two adults and one juvenile, he said.

A police spokesman said that a Customs and Border Patrol agent fired on the suspect as he fled from the synagogue, hitting his vehicle. The suspect, who is 19, called police and turned himself in, exiting his car with his hands up when police arrived where he had pulled over. There was an assault rifle in the car.

CNN quoted the Palomar Medical Center Poway as saying it was expecting four trauma patients from the shooting.

Steve Vaus, the town’s mayor, told CNN that there was one fatality, and that the danger was over. He said that congregants had engaged and helped to stop the shooter. He said the shooter apparently had anti-Semitic intent.

“I have heard that this was someone with hate in their heart, hate toward the Jewish community,” he said.

Later, Vaus added: “It was a hate crime,” an assessment he said was based on “statements that were made when the shooter entered.” He would not elaborate.

The shooting comes on the last day of Passover and six months to the day after the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, when an alleged white supremacist murdered 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue complex.

CNN quoted witnesses as saying that there were six or seven shots, and that the rabbi had two fingers blown off.

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