JERUSALEM — Two Israelis were among those wounded in an attack that left one person dead at a synagogue north of San Diego, California.
During the service for the last day of the Passover holiday, 19-year-old John Earnest burst into the Chabad synagogue and opened fire with an assault rifle. Witnesses said 60-year old Lori Gilbert Kaye jumped in front of Rabbi Yisrael Goldstein and was killed. The rabbi was wounded, losing two fingers.
Two other worshipers, both Israelis, were wounded. Eight year old Noya Dahan was wounded by shrapnel and her uncle Almog Peretz was shot in the leg.
Peretz grabbed several children and took them to safety as soon as the shooting started. He went back into the synagogue to rescue his niece, when he was shot.
The Dahan family had moved to the San Diego area from the Israeli town of Sderot, near the border with the Gaza Strip, to escape frequent Palestinian missile attacks.
Gil Pasternak was in the synagogue during the San Diego attack. He said the gunman pointed a gun at him and told him to run. He jumped under a table, and the gunman did not pursue him.
U.S. President Donald Trump expressed his sympathies to the victims.
“At this moment it looks like a hate crime, but my deepest sympathies to all of those affected,” he said.
The gunman fled the site, and turned himself in to police. The shooting came just six months after a similar attack at a Pittsburgh synagogue that killed 11 worshipers.