A shooting at a synagogue outside San Diego where worshippers were celebrating the last day of Passover on Saturday left one woman dead and three others injured, authorities said. The suspect has been identified as a 19-year-old man, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said.
The shooter entered Chabad of Poway and opened fire on worshippers, police said. The weapon appeared to be an AR-15 rifle, Gore said.
Gore said an off-duty Border Patrol agent believed to be inside the synagogue shot at the suspect as he fled. The sheriff said the agent didn’t hit him but struck his car.
Gore said Earnest is being investigated for a possible role in a nearby mosque arson last month. Earnest did not have a history with police prior to Saturday’s shooting.
San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said the 19-year-old suspect called police to report the shooting and a California Highway Patrol officer heard it on a police scanner, saw the suspect and pulled him over. Nisleit said the suspect got out of his car with his hands up and he was taken into custody without incident.
Witnesses told CBS San Diego affiliate KFMB the suspect showed little emotion as he was taken into custody.
Gore said a woman died from her injuries. A girl and two men are being treated at local hospitals. Gore said they are in stable condition.
The woman who was killed was identified at Lori Kaye, a beloved member of Chabad of Poway congregation for many years.
Update#2 Those wounded in the Chabad of Poway #synagogueshooting were taken to Palomar Medical Center @PalomarHealth. Please respect the medical privacy of victims & their families during this difficult time. Remain clear of the area as this investigation will take several hours
— San Diego Sheriff (@SDSheriff) April 27, 2019
Services at the Chabad of Poway synagogue were underway Saturday morning when a white man holding a semi-automatic weapon entered.
“One guy was shooting at everybody and cursing,” said synagogue member Minoo Anvari, whose husband was inside when the shooting broke out.
Witnesses Shliach Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein is among the injured, reportedly shot in the hand. He apparently continued with his sermon after being wounded, telling people to stay strong, the LA Times reported.
Witnesses said the Shul was in the middle of Yizkor at the time of the shooting.
“One message from all of us in our congregation is that we are standing together. We are getting stronger,” Anvari said. “Never again. You can’t break us. We are strong.”
President Donald Trump offered “deepest sympathies to the families of those affected” by the shooting.
At the White House, Trump said that the shooting “looked like a hate crime” and called it “hard to believe.” He spoke from the South Lawn before flying to a rally in Wisconsin.
Please say Tehillim for Yisroel ben Chana Priva
President Trump calls the shooting at a synagogue in Poway, California, a “hate crime” and “hard to believe." He adds, "My deepest sympathies to all of those affected." https://t.co/XVORtke1Bi pic.twitter.com/sAjHV2o73q
— CNN (@CNN) April 27, 2019