Multiple people shot in attack on Poway synagogue; police detain man for questioning
As many as four people were shot in at attack Saturday at a synagogue in Poway, San Diego County authorities said
A man has been detained for questioning in connection with the shooting at the Chabad of Poway, authorities said.
Deputies from the Poway station were called to Chabad Way just before 11:30 a.m., sheriff’s officials said. The site is about 20 miles north of San Diego.
Those wounded in the shooting were taken to Palomar Medical Center, according to the sheriff’s department. It was not immediately clear how many people were hurt.
Authorities have taped off the area around Chabad and a command post has been set up at Chaparral Elementary School.
Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, who was at the sheriff’s command center, told CNN that that the facility was specifically targeted because it was a place for the Jewish community to gather.
“I understand that this was someone with hate in their hate, hate for the Jewish community,” he said of the shooter.
The mayor, who lives near the site, sought to reassure the community that there was no further threat.
“The scene is safe,” he said. “The subject is custody. We will be in prayer for those injured…There is no ongoing threat to community.”
Several neighbors reported hearing the gunshots, and some were evacuated from nearby homes to the school temporarily as a precaution.
Cantor Caitlin Bromberg of Ner Tamid Synagogue down the street from Chabad of Poway said her congregation learned of the shooting at the end of their Passover services. Saturday marked the eighth and final day of Passover, a holiday that marks the Jewish people’s exodus from Egypt and freedom from slavery.
Bromberg said her congregants were en route to Chabad of Poway to show support and help in any way that they can.
“We are horrified and upset and we want them to know we are thinking of them,” she told The Times. “The message of the final day of Passover is to be looking forward to…the time when all the world will be at peace.”
Bromberg said someone from the congregation had received a text that there was a shooting at a synagogue in Poway. The person who sent the text did not know which temple was targeted and wanted to make sure the congregant was ok.
Bromberg said she has not heard from the leadership of the Chabad of Poway because they would not normally use the phone during the Sabbath.
“They would only do that on emergency basis, if they do it at all,” she said.
The incident comes seven months after a man with a history of posting anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant social media messages opened fire at a temple in Pittsburgh, killing 11 people and wounding six more.
The Anti-Defamation League called the incident “the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States” and it underscored growing hate against Jews.