Woman dead, three injured after California synagogue shooting

A 19-year-old man armed with a rifle opened fire inside a synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of Passover, killing a woman and wounding three people Saturday, authorities said.

The man, whose name was not released, fled in a car and called 911 shortly afterward to say he was involved in the shooting at Chabad of Poway, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit told reporters.

When an officer reached the man on a roadway, “the suspect pulled over, jumped out of his car with his hands up and was immediately taken into custody,” Chief Nisleit said.

Synagogue members console one another outside of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in California. Several people were injured in a shooting at the synagogue. Source: AAP
Synagogue members console one another outside of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in California. Several people were injured in a shooting at the synagogue. Source: AAP

The officer found an AR-type rifle in the front passenger seat.

San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said at a news conference that he had no details on motive. Authorities say they were reviewing copies of his social media posts.

There was no known threat after the man was detained, but authorities boosted patrols at places of worship as a precaution, Chief Nisleit said.

The shooting came exactly six months since a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue killed 11 people in the deadliest attack on Jews in US history.

An off-duty Border Patrol agent inside the synagogue in the city of Poway, just over 32 kilometres north of San Diego, opened fire as the shooter fled but didn’t hit him, Sheriff Gore said.

An FBI agent gives out information to members of the media outside of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue on Saturday. Source: AAP
An FBI agent gives out information to members of the media outside of the Chabad of Poway Synagogue on Saturday. Source: AAP

Minoo Anvari told CNN that she’s a member of Chabad of Poway and her husband was inside during the shooting. She said he called to tell her the shooter was shouting and cursing and she called the shooting “unbelievable” in a peaceful and tight-knit community.

“We are strong, we are united, they can’t break us,” she said.

Four people were admitted to Palomar Health Medical Center Hospital, spokesman Derryl Acosta said. The Authorities said a girl and two men were wounded.

Passover began on April 19 and was ending Saturday.

In Pittsburgh, a truck driver who authorities say expressed hatred of Jews has been charged in the October 27 rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue. He’s pleaded not guilty.

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