A gunman opened fire at a synagogue Saturday near San Diego, California, leaving one person dead and three others injured.
The shooting occurred at the Chabad of Poway in the 16000 block of Chabad Way just before 11:30 a.m. PT. According to The Associated Press, the deceased victim was a woman. A rabbi and two others were wounded after they gathered to worship on the last day of Passover.
An off-duty Border Patrol agent was inside the synagogue at the time of the shooting and opened fire, according to local media reports. The agent missed, but the gunman fled. The agent’s actions possibly prevented more carnage.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Office later announced on Twitter that a “19-year-old man was arrested in connection with the shooting.” The suspect had reportedly been armed with an assault-style weapon.
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In an interview on CNN, Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said the synagogue takes its security “very seriously.”
Vaus added that the shooter had “hate” in his heart.
Witnesses reported hearing dozens of shots as families gathered inside the house of worship. A female parishioner, whose husband was in the building at the time, was interviewed and said in defiance “they can’t break us.”
President Trump expressed his condolences on Twitter, writing: “Thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the shooting at the Synagogue in Poway, California. God bless you all. Suspect apprehended. Law enforcement did outstanding job. Thank you!”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom also reacted to the shooting.
“No one should have to fear going to their place of worship, and no one should be targeted for practicing the tenets of their faith,” Newsom said.
The shooting comes six months to the day after a gunman opened fire at a temple in Pittsburgh, killing 11 people and wounding half a dozen others.
The violence at the Tree of Life on Oct. 27, 2018, is considered the deadliest attack ever on the Jewish community in the U.S.
It recent months, houses of worship have been increasingly targeted. Earlier this month, three historically black churches were set on fire in Louisiana. Officials said they found “suspicious elements” in all three cases.
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