One dead, three injured

Another attack targeting Jewish people at prayer has taken place in Poway, California, leaving one dead and three more people injured including the synagogue’s rabbi. Chabad of Poway, located north of San Diego, was the latest to join an unfortunate group of sites of worship that have been attacked.

Just after 11:30 a.m. local time, the shooter, John Earnest, accessed the synagogue grounds after leaving a hate-filled post and manifesto online. He came upon his first victims in the lobby of the building when he suddenly opened fire, sending people scrambling.

One woman, Lori Kaye, died at the hospital after suffering wounds from an AR-15 style of weapon as the shooter entered the synagogue and opened fire. After shooting Kaye, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein was shot in both hands. Two others were injured during the attack, an 8-year-old as well as 34-year-old Almog Peretz, both of whom suffered shrapnel wounds.

Fortunately, more people were not hurt, although the explanations for the low number of casualties has multiple, lucky causes. After Earnest called the police and turned himself in, it was discovered the weapon he used during the attack appeared to have malfunctioned. Thus, the weapon’s inability to fire might have caused the shooter to leave the grounds before the attack became even more severe.

However, other reports of heroism have emerged from the synagogue, where it has been revealed that worshippers took brave measures to prevent the attack from continuing. Some people ushered others to safety, and some decided to make a rush for the gunman. As he was fleeing, an off-duty border patrol agent opened fire on his car, striking it several times but not causing injuries.

All in all, this is another tragic addition to hate crimes that have been committed against Jewish people in recent months. The overall increase in the negative rhetoric and actions against people of the Jewish faith is alarming, and it is unclear what, if any, impact this latest attack will have on calls for more protection of people in their places of worship.

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