A pair of shootings of Jewish men after they left synagogues in the Pico-Robertson district less than 24 hours apart are being investigated as hate crimes by the Los Angeles Police Department and FBI, Mayor Karen Bass said.
A suspect in the shootings was arrested Thursday night, police said. Federal civil rights charges will be filed against the man, who “has a history of animus towards the Jewish community,” according to a statement from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.
Anti-Defamtaion League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said in a statement, “My heart is with the Jewish community in Pico-Robertson. It’s horrifying to see yet another shooting happen as members of their community were leaving prayer…Our thoughts are with the victims and their families.”
The suspect was tracked to an area in Riverside County and investigators began working collaboratively with federal and regional partners to locate him, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The suspect was arrested at approximately 5:45 p.m. without incident, police said.
Detectives recovered several items of evidence including a rifle and a handgun, police said.
The suspect’s name was not released.
The first shooting occurred around 9:55 a.m. Wednesday in the 1400 block of Shenandoah Street, near Pico Boulevard, between Robertson and La Cienega boulevards.
The second occurred at 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the 1600 block of South Bedford Street, two blocks south of Pico Boulevard and one block east of Shenandoah Street.
Both victims survived.
The Los Angeles Police Department announced before the arrests it was “re-allocating police resources to provide a highly visible and preventative presence in the area.”
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna wrote on his Twitter page that his department “will increase patrol checks around Jewish synagogues and Jewish centers in our jurisdictions. Patrol stations will remain vigilant and report any threats of violence to Major Crimes.”
Bass said in a statement that “antisemitism and hate crimes have no place in our city or our country.”
She asserted, “Those who engage in either will be caught and held fully accountable. At a time of increased antisemitism, these acts have understandably set communities on edge.”
More from the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles:
We are continuing to monitor the two separate shooting incidents involving members of our
Los Angeles Jewish community and have learned from our law enforcement partners that the
single suspect allegedly responsible for both shootings has been arrested. We are incredibly
grateful for law enforcement’s diligence in apprehending the suspect.
We have also learned that the suspect has a history of animus towards the Jewish community
and these incidents will be treated as hate crimes. As such, we are encouraged to also have
learned that the U.S. Attorney will take the case and file federal charges on civil rights
Our Community Security Initiative continues to be in touch with local law enforcement to make
sure our Jewish community is being kept safe.
Anyone with information on the shootings was urged to call the LAPD at 877-527-3247. Anonymous tips can be made through Crime Stoppers at 800-222- 8477 or at http://www.lacrimestoppers.org.
City News Service contributed to this report.
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