California synagogue shooting: Rabbi describes 'heart-wrenching' scene

California synagogue shooting: Rabbi describes 'heart-wrenching' scene

A nineteen year-old man opened fire during a service to mark the end of Passover in the Synagogue at Poway in California.

San Diego County police say 19-year-old John Earnest allegedly entered the Chabad of Poway synagogue Saturday and opened fire with an AR-style assault weapon.

At an emotional news conference on Sunday, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein choked back tears as he spoke of the slain victim, Lori Kaye, whom he had known for 25 years.

A vehicle, allegedly used by the gunman who killed one at the Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, is pictured, few hundred feet from the Interstate 15 off-ramp north of San Diego, California, U.S. April 27, 2019.

"She was a pioneer member from our congregation", he said, his left arm in a sling and his right hand bandaged. "As Americans we can not cower in the face of the senseless hate that is in anti-Semitism", Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein said in an interview to NBC television from his hospital bed.

The gunman called 911 shortly afterward to report the shooting, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said. A girl and two men are being treated at local hospitals.

Worshipper Oscar Stewart, 51, rushed the gunman and chased him outside before another person, the off duty Border Patrol agent, opened fire, Gore said.

The California synagogue shooting is the latest in a series of recent attacks at the houses of worship, including the church bombings in Sri Lanka on Easter last week and the mosque shootings in New Zealand last month.

Instead, Goldstein found himself face to face with the teenage gunman responsible for killing Kaye and wounding three others.

The suspect was arrested soon after by San Diego police, and taken into custody without incident, deputies said.


USA national security adviser John Bolton said there is "no doubt" Saturday's synagogue shooting in San Diego is a hate crime, but that the alleged gunman likely acted alone.

The Army veteran came face to face with the suspect, 19-year-old John Earnest, who escaped in a auto before surrendering to police.

"No one should have to fear going to their place of worship, and no one should be targeted for practicing the tenets of their faith", he said.

Abitbul, who was visiting from Israel and staying with his daughter and her family in Southern California, said he was still coming to grips with the carnage.

Other White House officials underlined those words on Sunday, with National Security Advisor John Bolton telling Fox News the attack was "atrocious and utterly inexcusable".

The Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh said in a statement that "we are heartbroken-and appalled and outraged. I only wish I killed more".

Police did not suggest a motive but US President Donald Trump said the attack appeared to be "a hate crime".

"Enough is enough!" Dozens of Pittsburgh residents gathered Saturday evening for a vigil of song and prayer on a corner outside the synagogue, joined by Mayor Bill Peduto and Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who himself survived the October attack on Tree of Life. A young boy sat with a cardboard sign reading "we must do better". "Again. Always. Until we drive hate speech & acts of hate out of our city, our state, our nation, our world".

Prime Minister Netanyahu condemned the shooting as "atrocious", adding that "the worldwide community must step up the struggle against anti-Semitism".

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