Synagogue Shooting in Poway, California


Leah Breakstone

Yet another hate crime to add to the list. This Saturday, at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, in Poway, California, just north of San Diego, a 19-year-old man armed with an automated rifle is now in custody after shooting many in what is thought to be a hate crime, county Sherrif William Gore told reporters. The shooting occurred at around 11 AM, Pacific time, during a Passover celebration. The Synagogue shooting took place just 6 months after the tragic mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Witnesses say the shooter was screaming and cursing as he opened fire, which has led to the beliefs that it was a hate crime. According to another source, President Trump offered sympathy and condolences to the people involved, adding that it is “hard to believe.”

As of now, there seems to be one casualty and several injured. Among those is the Rabbi of the congregation, who was shot in the hand. Although injured, the Rabbi made sure to make his point clear that “this is something bad [that] is happening all over. And we have to believe that this bad thing is real and we don’t have to ignore it. We have to open our eyes. He prayed for peace. I respect him — even in spite of being injured he refused to go to [the] hospital and he spoke. And he finished his speech and he then left the synagogue,”* remarked Minoo Anvari, a congregant and Iranian refugee, whose husband was a witness of the event. She also added that the Rabbi mentioned that “‘We are united’”.

At this point, it seems that the shooter did post threats and other letters that might raise some eyebrows to social media. Some of these include referencing wanting to kill many Jewish people, and also he made note of other attacks in places of worship, such as the Synagogue in Pittsburgh, and the recent Christchurch Mosque shooting in New Zealand, which seems to have influenced this shooting. Authorities are still looking into more evidence found online from the shooter. 

Poway, being an upper-middle-class community with one of the lowest crime rates in the state, just shows that it can happen anywhere.

*all quotes have been taken from other news sources, not from Maroon reporters.