connectVideoOne dead, three injured in Poway, California synagogue attack
The 19-year-old gunman allegedly made anti-Semitic comments online prior to the attack.
A relative of the two injured victims in Saturday’s shooting at a synagogue in San Diego, California, suburb said that his family had moved from a city in Israel, near the Gaza border amid continued rocket attacks.
“We came out of the fire to the fire,” said Israel Dahan, the father of the 8-year-old Noya Dahan, who was hit by shrapnel in the face and leg after a shooter stormed into the Chabad of Poway, about 100 people were celebrating the last day of the Passover.
Dahan made the comment on an Israeli radio program, according to The Times of Israel. He said a few years ago he moved with his family to California from Sderot, in southern Israel, near the Gaza border. Dahan said the house of the family in the Israeli town was hit by rockets several times over the years, and that he was injured during one of the attacks.
He added, after moving to the US a few years ago, the family was the target of anti-Semites, who sprayed swastikas on the walls.
“It can happen anywhere. We are strong,” Dahan said.
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According to The Times of Israel, Noya Dahan wounded uncle, Almog Peretz, said that life in Sderot prepared him to respond to the synagogue attack. He was reportedly shot in the leg in Saturday’s shooting as he tries to protect children in the synagogue.
Peretz said his instinct kicked in on Saturday after spending the last 15 years, often rushing to shelters to hide from the thousands of missiles fired by terrorist groups in the Gaza strip.
The Times of Israel is reporting that from his hospital bed, Peretz told Israel’s Channel 12 that it is “sad”, but he knows “a bit about the run from the Forces missiles”, because he is originally from Sderot.
“A person with a big gun, like an M16, went to the synagogue and began to shoot everywhere,” Peretz told the news outlet he described Saturday in the attack. “At first We thought the ceiling had caved in, but then I turned around and saw he was aiming his weapon at me.”
He said he saw there were lots of small children next to him.
“I took a little girl that was our neighbor, and three nieces from me and ran. I opened the door and we walked with all the children to a building in the back. I hid them in that building,” said Peretz.
“When I picked up the girl, the terrorist aimed his weapon at me. I was wounded in the leg.”
Peretz said he then returned to the synagogue because another cousin was still inside.
He said: “I came back because one of my cousins was stuck in the bathroom. I had to go back and for her.”
“Fortunately, she remained there, and the terrorist already gone,” he continued.
The local authorities said the 19-year-old John Ernst opened fire with an assault rifle on worshippers during morning services on Saturday, including the 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye and the wounding of the rabbi Yisroel Goldstein; Noya Dahan; and her uncle Peretz. All three wounded victims are in stable condition, according to The Times of Israel.
The authorities said Sincerely gave himself over to the police.
Audrey Jacobs, a woman who, like Gilbert-Kaye’s friend, posted on Facebook that Gilbert-Kaye was a woman who “always running to a mitzvah (good deed),” and that her last good deed was taking the bullets for Rabbi Mendel Goldstein to save his life.”
Jacobs said Gilbert-Kaye leaves behind “a devastated husband and her 22-year-old daughter.”
She added the other victims and their families would like to share this message: “At the Chabad of Poway Synagogue on Shabbat (Saturday) and on the last day of the easter holidays, a 19-year-old stormed in and said ‘F— the Jews” and opened fire with an AR-type assault weapon.”
The post said, “He shot and killed Lori Kaye z”l (of blessed memory) that the bullets for the Rabbi. It is tragic that the Rabbi was still a shot in the hand and he gave a sermon to tell everyone to stay strong.”
“The horror continues, the other victims suffer shrapnel injuries are an 8-year-old girl, Noya Dahan. She asked for her picture to be shared and for everyone to know she is strong. The other shrapnel was a victim Almog Peretz, at the age of 32, Noya’s uncle, who came from Sderot for a visit to his family for the easter holidays. He was a hero of today, the gathering of the children and leads them to safety.”
The Facebook post also said: “During the shoot of a brave off-duty border patrol agent chased and fired on the shooter as he ran off. Fortunately, he was caught by the authorities and is in custody.”
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“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. The quiet city in Israel, in the Negev, and is less than a mile from the Gaza border. For the year, their house is a major objective of the Forces rocket attacks from terrorists in the Gaza strip,” Jacobs added in the Facebook post.
According to the San Diego County Sheriff William Gore, Sincere, who reportedly had no contact with the police, can be charged with a hate crime in addition to murder. Serious is also being investigated in connection with an arson attack on a mosque in the near Escondido, California, on March 24.
Gore added that the off-duty Border Patrol agent working as a security guard used against the shooter as he fled, missing him but striking his getaway vehicle.
San Diego police chief David Nisleit said, shortly after the flight, Sincere called 911 to report the shooting and when an officer reached him on a taxiway, “the defendant pulled over, jumped out of his car with his hands up and was immediately taken into custody.”
Gore said authorities were reviewing copies of the Seriousness of the social media posts, including what he described as a “manifesto.”
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A person who identify himself as John Seriously placed an anti-Jewish screed online about an hour before the attack. The poster described herself as a nursing school student and praised the suspects accused of carrying out deadly attacks on mosques in New Zealand last month in Pittsburgh, and the Tree of Life synagogue in October.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.