One person died and three others were injured after a gunman opened fire at the end of a Passover service in a San Diego, California synagogue.
Police arrested a 19-year-old male for the terrorist crime after he called 911 and identified himself as the suspect for the crime.
60-year old Lori Kaye of Poway, California died in the shooting. Many have credited her for saving the life of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. Witnesses have told media outlets that Kaye shielded the Rabbi from the bullets. Goldstein suffered a gunshot wound to the hand.
“In my own interpretation, Lori took the bullet for all of us. She died to protect all of us,” Goldstein said at a news conference Sunday afternoon. “This is Lori. This is her legacy, and her legacy will continue. It could have been so much worse.”
Moved to escape violence: friend
In an online tribute to Kaye, Audrey Jacobs said that Kaye and her family had moved to San Diego to escape rocket attacks on her hometown in Israel.
“Here’s the insane irony, Noya’s family moved to San Diego from the Israeli city of Sderot (San Diego’s sister city) to get away from the terrorism and the constant attacks on their community,” Jacobs said.
“The peaceful city in Israel they’re from is in the Negev and is less than a mile from the Gaza border. For years their home has been a major target of Qassam rocket attacks from terrorists in the Gaza Strip.”
Worse tragedy prevented
Among the others injured was an eight-year-old girl. All surviving victims are in stable condition.
Many witnesses have said the shooting could have been much worse if it wasn’t for the heroics of others gathered as well. Media reports say that people rushed and engaged the shooter preventing him from inflicting more damage.
This was the second mass shooting at a synagogue in the United States in the last six months. In October eleven people died when another terrorist opened fire in a Pittsburgh, PA synagogue.
Christians speak out
Many Christian leaders have spoken out over the last 48 hours condemning the attacks and offering condolences.
Dr. David Jeremiah
“Today we mourn with those directly impacted by today’s tragic synagogue shooting at the Chabad of Poway. Poway is a community close to Turning Point and Shadow Mountain Community Church. Our prayers are with the victims and their families and for all the Jewish people throughout this city, this country, and the world. The Christian community stands firmly and compassionately behind our Jewish brothers and sisters, and we condemn hatred against anyone, especially those with their heads bowed in prayer, as those in Poway were, celebrating the last day of Passover. May God be close to those who have suffered this terrible tragedy.”
“This present darkness has never in my lifetime felt more present over this land. It feels horrifically, hauntingly determined. The people of God must, if we’re to withstand it at all, become exceedingly determined in taking the shades off our lamps and wiping away the soot.”
“There is no worse form of terrorist extremism than an attack on a place of worship – whether it be arson at churches in Louisiana, mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, or this weekend’s attack on a synagogue in Poway, California. This evil must be confronted by all of us, especially faith leaders who at times have to overcome threats from within their own community to speak up against extremism. We cannot be bystanders in this war against the right of any community to worship in peace. Enough is enough.”