January 19, 2020

Updates from San Diego: Community Gathers, Prays, Grieves

SAN DIEGO – Shaina, a 15-year-old girl, corralled her younger sister and six other kids and led them out a back exit of Chabad of Poway, saving lives, according to her mom Debra.

“She was so brave, she’s a hero,” Debra said from the driveway of a Poway Chabad junior rabbi’s house this morning. She declined to give her last name.

As the gunman sprayed bullets in the sanctuary, Shaina led the group of kids out the back, down some steps to the backyard of the junior rabbi’s house. They ended up in the street at the end of a cul de sac behind the Chabad house when a neighbor four houses down spotted them and took them in.
“My daughter didn’t sleep a wink last night,” Debra said. “She has been terrified.”
Fighting back tears, Shaina pointed out the path she took leading kids out of the sanctuary. Men escaping behind her, in such a panic, knocked over a fence on their way out the back and out onto the street.
The junior rabbi’s house has been a meeting point throughout the morning for congregation members. Grief counselors will be on hand from 12-4 today and for the next three days at the house available to those affected.

Locals have been leaving flowers, cards, candles and heart shaped posters at the corner of Summerfield and Espola across the street from the Chabad.

Four Jews huddled together chanting the Shema in front of Chabad. They lit two candles and left flowers.