SHUL SHOOTING ATTACK IN CALIFORNIA: Woman Killed, Rabbi and 2 Others Wounded at Chabad of Poway

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Shooting victim Lori Kaye H"YD, 60

A 19-year-old gunman opened fire inside a Chabad center near San Diego on Shabbos, the last day of Pesach, killing a woman and wounding the rabbi and two others, authorities said.

Chabad.org reports the shots rang out inside Chabad of Poway at around 11:30AM, as the congregation had been listening to Krias HaTorah. Inside the lobby, the gunman fatally shot Lori Gilbert-Kaye H”YD and grievously injured Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who later required surgery on both hands.

Please say Tehillim for the Chabad Shliach, Yisroel ben Chana Priva.

Also wounded was a young girl, 8-year-old Noya Dahan, and her uncle, Almog Peretz, 34. Dahan was hit with shrapnel in the face and leg. Witnesses said Peretz was shot in the leg as he heroically carried young children to safety. The family is originally from Sderot, Israel but had moved due to constant fear of terrorist rockets fired from nearby Gaza.

[Statement By Chabad-Lubavitch Headquarters on the Fatal Poway Shooting]

A witness told CNN affiliate KGTV there were six or seven shots followed by screams and then another volley of shots. The witness said the wounded rabbi tried to calm the gunman and members of the congregation.

There were indications an AR-type assault weapon might have malfunctioned after the gunman, identified as John Earnest, fired numerous rounds inside the Chabad of Poway, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said.

As the terrorist paused to reload, a Chabad regular and US Military veteran heroically rushed him. An off-duty Border Patrol agent working as a security guard fired at the shooter as he ran away, missing him but striking his getaway vehicle, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said.

Shortly after fleeing, Earnest called 911 to report the shooting, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said. When an officer reached him on a roadway, “the suspect pulled over, jumped out of his car with his hands up and was immediately taken into custody,” Nisleit said.

Image result for rabbi yisroel goldstein poway
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, the Shul’s rabbi, who also serves as a police chaplain in San Diego.

Mrs. Lori Kaye H”YD, 60, was a beloved member of Chabad of Poway congregation for many years. She leaves behind a devastated husband and 22-year-old daughter.

Lori Kaye HY”D

Before he would allow himself to be rushed to the hospital, Rabbi Goldstein turned to his congregation and spoke. He referenced the “Vehi She’amdah” passage from the Haggadah, read at the Pesach Seder: “Not just one alone has risen against us to destroy us, but in every generation they rise against us to destroy us; and the Holy One, blessed be He, saves us from their hand.” He went on to speak about remaining strong in the face of adversity and hate.

Rabbi Goldstein, who is originally from the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., is also a Jewish chaplain with the San Diego sheriff’s department. Goldstein has been described as “talkative, warm and kind” by members of the Southern California community.

‘TERROR WILL NOT WIN’: Shooting Victim Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein Recounts Horrific Attack at Chabad [WATCH INTERVIEW]

Later Shabbos afternoon, police allowed the congregants to regroup in the nearby home of Rabbi Mendel Goldstein, where the prayer were concluded. The service included Yizkor, in which the souls of the departed loved ones are recalled. Having been informed that Gilbert-Kaye had succumbed, they said a special prayer for her soul.

Following Chassidic custom, as the day came to an end, they sat down for a festive meal known as Seudas Moshiach, which included joyous singing and dancing. Poway Mayor Steve Vaus joined them along with other guests.

“In the face of senseless hate we commit to live proudly as Jews in this glorious country,” Rabbi Yonah Fradkin, executive director of Chabad of San Diego County, said in a statement.

“We strongly believe that love is exponentially more powerful than hate. We are deeply shaken by the loss of a true woman of valor, Lori Kaye, who lost her life solely for living as a Jew.”

The anti-Semitic attack took place exactly six months since 11 people were killed at a Pittsburgh synagogue in the deadliest assault on Jews in U.S. history.

Poway is a community of around 48,000 residents, located 20 miles north of San Diego. The city website boasts being one of the lowest crime rates in the state.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said the congregation was targeted by “someone with hate in their heart … towards our Jewish community and that just will not stand.” The congregation “took security very seriously,” he said.

“I also understand from folks on the scene that this shooter was engaged by people in the congregation and those brave people certainly prevented this from being a much worse tragedy,” Vaus told CNN.

Minoo Anvari, a member of the synagogue, told media outlets that her husband was inside during the shooting. She said he called to tell her the shooter was shouting and cursing.

Anvari, a refugee from Iran, said the rabbi called for unity and prayed for peace even after getting shot.

“Rabbi said, ‘We are united,'” said Anvari.

“This is something bad (that) is happening all over. And we have to believe that this bad thing is real and we don’t have to ignore it. We have to open our eyes. He prayed for peace. I respect him — even in spite of being injured he refused to go to hospital and he spoke. And he finished his speech and he then left the synagogue.”

She called the shooting “unbelievable” in a peaceful and tight-knit community.

“We are strong; you can’t break us,” Anvari said.

The shooter, John Earnest, has no criminal record, but investigators were looking into a claim he made in an online manifesto about setting a fire at a mosque in nearby Escondido last month, Gore said. There was damage but no injuries.

Gore said authorities were reviewing copies of his social media posts and were investigating the attack as a possible hate crime in the city of Poway, just over 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of San Diego.

A person identifying themselves as John Earnest posted an anti-Jewish screed online about an hour before the attack. The poster described himself as a nursing school student and praised the suspects accused of carrying out deadly attacks on mosques in New Zealand last month and at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue Oct. 27.

California State University, San Marcos, confirmed Earnest was a student on the dean’s list and said the school was “dismayed and disheartened” that he was suspected in “this despicable act.”

There was no known threat after Earnest was arrested, but authorities boosted patrols at places of worship as a precaution, police said.

Donny Phonea, who lives across the street from the synagogue, turned off his power drill and heard someone shout, “Police!” Then he heard three or four shots.

The 38-year-old bank auditor looked over his backyard fence facing the synagogue and saw people hiding behind an electrical box in the parking lot of a neighboring church. At that point, he knew something was “very, very wrong,” went inside and closed his doors and garage.

“I’m a little taken aback,” said Phonea, who moved to Poway two weeks ago. “I moved here because safety was a factor. Poway is very safe.”

President Donald Trump offered his sympathies Saturday, saying the shooting “looked like a hate crime” and calling it “hard to believe.”

“Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded and stands in solidary with the Jewish community,” Trump said later at a rally in Wisconsin. “We forcefully condemn the evils of anti-Semitism and hate, which must be defeated.”

He praised law enforcement’s “incredible response” and singled out the off-duty Border Patrol agent who “bravely returned fire and helped disrupt the attack and saved so many lives.”

The sheriff said the gun possibly malfunctioned.

The mayor of Poway, who tweeted that he got a call from the president offering help, also denounced what he called a hate crime.

“I want you know this is not Poway,” Mayor Steve Vaus said. “We always walk with our arms around each other and we will walk through this tragedy with our arms around each other.”

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said he joins the community in grief.

“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,” he said.

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, the Shul’s rabbi, who also serves as a police chaplain in San Diego.

(AP / YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)




37 COMMENTS

  1. One already reported dead, although there was no mention this morning as to whether or not the deceased was the shooter. Additionally. I was informed, that there was z law enforcement officer on the scene (unknown if he was security or there as Chabad guest) and bh ended the shooting before a full scale massacre could occur.

  2. The guy who committed this attack fits the profile of the young white anti-semites who marched in Charlottesville 18 months ago screaming “the Jews will not replace us”. They were not some “fine people” marching in support of a statute of Robert E. Lee as claimed by the Trumkopf who reiterated his comments just 48 hours ago. The former Rav of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh (where the shooting occurred exactly 6 months ago today) made the point that “words have consequences” in an interview tonight on TV. The same point was made by the chazan of the Ner Tamid shul just down the street from the Chabad. Her comments were balanced in terms of appreciation for the President’s offer of support for the Jewish tzibur in San Diego but noting that his rhetoric along with some equally hateful stuff from the far-left was fueling a lot of the radicalization of a lot of younger alienated social misfits.

  3. Score one for those who favor having armed persons in shul (in this case, a armed security guard). If everyone in the shul was unarmed, the casulties wold have been significantly higher.

  4. Can we say now that NYT has Jewish blood on their hands with theit publishing Jew-hating cartoon: Poway Synagogue Shooter Left a Manifesto – Calls President Trump a “Zionist, Anti-White, Traitorous,…………….

  5. Gadolhadorah, you are a stupid woman who is using this tragedy to spread lies about Trump that where debunked as out of contexts fake news long ago. Both shooters hare something in common: they where Trump haters, just like many liberal leftists.

  6. Katan Anti-Torah, stop lying about what Trump said. Trump never called the antisemites fine people. He said there were fine people and terrible people on both sides of the Charlottesville riot, and that is perfectly true. Anyone who denies it is a vicious liar.

    It is also a vicious lie to link the Charlottesville rally, and the good people who attended it, with the neo-nazi march the previous evening, or with the car ramming that one person committed afterwards. These were three separate events, and most people who attended the rally had no connection to either of the other two events.

    Never forget that even those who attended the rally who were not good people, even the real neonazis and white supremacists who were there, came to rally peacefully, as was their perfect right, not to commit violence, while the left-wing anarchist thugs who attacked them and started the riot came for that purpose. That makes them much worse, and yet not a single Democrat dared to condemn them, and Joe Biden just called them brave people. Disgusting. Trump, on the other hand, unequivocally condemned the white supremacists, even though they were the ones who were attacked, but the Democrats with bylines repeatedly lie about it.

  7. GadolHadorah is spreading filthy disgusting lies. Using a tragedy to bring politics into the picture.

    Your spreading fake news which makes you a dangerous fool.

    President Trump began by acknowledging that neo-Nazis started the rally. He then observed that the organizers hid their ideological extremism. They titled the rally “Unite The Right,” rather than, say, “Three Cheers For Hitler” in order to blur the distinction between conservatism and fascism. To this end they also focused the event around mainstream opposition to the removal of historical monuments. Trump then explained the moral dilemmas raised by the removal of historical monuments. Finally, he specifically and explicitly “condemned totally” the “neo-Nazis and the white nationalists” present at the rally.

    What President Trump said is:

    “The neo-Nazis started this thing. They showed up in Charlottesville. Excuse me. They didn’t put themselves down as neo-Nazis. You had some very bad people in that group. You also had some very fine people on both sides. You had people in that group — excuse me, excuse me. I saw the same pictures as you did. You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down, of them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name. George Washington was a slave owner. Was George Washington a slave owner? So will George Washington now lose his status? Are we going to take down — excuse me. Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? How about Thomas Jefferson? What do you think of Thomas Jefferson? You like him. Good. Are we going to take down his statue. He was a major slave owner. Are we going to take down his statue? It is fine. You are changing history and culture. You had people—and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists. They should be condemned totally. You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists”.

  8. Unfirtunate that lost, confused liberal frum Jews would take this opportunity to blame Trump who according to the NYT is a closet Jew blindly led by a Jewish dog. If you want to blame and attack, try to see past your liberal blindness and go after the true instigator. We in Israel will rally around our PM whether we like him or not. Diaspora Jews are on the cusp of extinction. Put your blame there.

  9. Maybe someone can help me understand something here…I am not pointing fingers and dont know details. I have wanted armed guards at our local LA school but there are 5 different buildings and it would cost thousands a day. Here we have an armed guard. So my question is HOW DID THIS ARMED NON JEW GET INSIDE? It’s great he was shot after he drive off…but.. isnt the point they shouldnt get in?

  10. Gadol, and how has the “love” for Jews and Israel been from your extremist Democratic Party of recent? Would you say it’s a perfect 10? This isn’t a time to blame Trunp, Democrats, Republicans, or politics.

  11. GadolhadorahApril 27, 2019 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm

    The former Rav of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh (where the shooting occurred exactly 6 months ago today) made the point…..
    RAV??? HE MIGHT BE MINISTER, BUT TO CALL A LEADER OF A REFORM TEMPLE A RAV IS ABYSMAL.
    The same point was made by the chazan of the Ner Tamid shul just down the street from the Chabad. Her comments were balanced….
    FEMALE CHAZAN??? AND YOU CALL HER TEMPLE A SHUL???? HAVE WE LOST ALL SENSITIVITY TO WHAT IS AN ANTITHESES TO HALACHA??? WHAT A DISASTER!

  12. akuperma: The facts are different than you want to suggest:: the “security guard did NOT stop the shooter, he shot his car as the shooter was leaving! The shooter was apprehended by a brave congregant inside. If entry into the shul was easily accessible, perhaps a security guard could sit inside or not be needed altogether. Many shuls today make access difficult by installing combo locks [with a sign for visitors in hebrew of the password].

  13. Gadolhatorah, sorry but President Trump wasn’t referring to the white supremacists as fine people but to the regular people who were there who felt that history shouldn’t be erased. When did you drink the leftist “narrative” instead -of -facts Kool-Aid?

  14. Jakkass, the Nazis and other Jew-haters do not need to read NYT. Trashy publications like NY times and filthy mouth of Ilhan Omar CONTRIBUTE and validate their views and actions. Do you think every Brownshirt who participated in Kristallnacht was reading pages of Der Stürmer?

  15. Those who have longer memories will remember that Mr. Trump did not immediately condemn the anti-Semites in Charlottesville, and when he finally did he waffled. If you watched the video footage you will see that all, or the majority, of the alt-right attendees marched in the torch-light parade singing anti-Semitic slogans and songs. Fine people? Only if you don’t care about anti-Semitism. Note also that the shooter this time also claimed to have tried to burn down a mosque – equal-opportunity hate.

    Let’s stop pretending that we have a “friend” in the White House. Pirkei Avos, which we begin to read this Shabbos, states quite plainly that non-Jewish politicians befriend us only when it is in their own interest, and dump us just as quickly when it’s convenient. Remember also that many German “Aryans” in the 1930s were married to Jews, or had other family members, business partners or friends who were Jews, and the vast majority of them just went along with the Nazis. There was a play written by a non-Jewish refugee named Bertolt Brecht, part of his “Private Life of the Master Race,” which is the soliloquy of the Jewish wife of an “Aryan” whose husband is sending her abroad, effectively ending the marriage, because he is afraid of political problems. In the crunch Ivanka would probably stick with Jared, but I doubt if her papa would have any serious qualms about dumping them both.

  16. MIG,

    Get an education.
    Maybe read the Haggadah about who our enemies are.
    Brownshirts ? Kristalnacht? Der Sturmer ?
    This shooter was a garden variety American White Supremacist who planned the attack a while ago.
    He hates Jews and Muslims.

  17. Midwest2, we all got your point: Trump is a white supremacist Jew hating Nazi who is responsible for murdering 11 Jews in Pittsburgh and the shooting in Sand Diego.

  18. Jakkass, read the shooter’s manifesto and compare it to Ilhan Omar’s statements about the Jews controlling US Government and the latest NYT “cartoon”, if yo do not see the pattern then you are hopeless case.

  19. After reading so many posts attempting to rationalize what Trump said (versus what he might have meant), I can only say you are the ones in denial. It was clear at the time and it is clear now that he was clearly trying to endow some legitimacy to the white racists that marched in Charlottesville. The Trumpkopf’s statements and tweets are so incomprehensible that he can get away with later claiming he said down is up and black is white and anyone calling him out for his lies is all “fake news” and his sheeplach believe anything he says. As to the references in the post to the “rav” and “chazan” of nearby synagogues, that is how they were referenced in the media reports I was referencing, so I’ll leave it to you to play your mindless word games at this time of tragedy. No one was endowing their hashkafah with any legitimacy, just noting the words of other yidden at a time of tragedy. Also note that I included the reference to the hateful rhetoric from the left-wing of the Democratic party which was a key point from the illegitimate “chazan” of the nearby “shul”.

  20. I don’t know why Charlottesville was brought up here, but at least get the facts straight, That whole mess was initiated by two local city council members who decided to change the names of two local parks, and remove two statues, because the parks and statues were associated with Civil War veterans.

    The 2017 demonstration got out of control because the chief of police specifically told the cops to “let them fight”; he immediately resigned after that was revealed in a later investigation.

    It was all documented in local newspapers.

  21. Gadolhadorah, instead of admitting that you were wrong or keeping quiet you continuing to demonstrate to the rest of us on this forum that you have no brains. Now you are going after Trump for not “what Trump said (versus what he might have meant),”, apparently you have a rare talent of reading other peoples’ mind. Going after peoples’ “thought crimes” is what most liberals do. Why is it that so many Trump-haters are so dumb?

  22. Midwest2 and Katanhatorah, you are outright lying through your teeth.

    How can you claim that all or the majority of the people at the rally also marched in the antisemitic march the previous night? There were hundreds of people at the rally, and only a few dozen at the march. Obviously none of the fine people at the rally attended the march.

    Trump never said one good word about the people at the march. He immediately and unequivocally condemned the antisemites as well as the marxist and anarchist thugs who viciously attacked them, while praising the good people on both sides who had come to peacefully express their legitimate views.

    Finally, Katan, not one single media report ever referred to those heretics as a “rav” or a “chazan”. Not one. You are simply lying. YOU are the one deliberately praising and legitimizing heretics, which makes you one as well. And a heretic is much worse than a white supremacist.

  23. Yeshivishrockstar, first of all Gateway Pundit is not a reliable site, and there is no value in reading it. Any true story it reports will also be reported elsewhere, while any story that is only reported there is definitely false, so what is the point of reading it?

    The FBI was warned that someone claiming to be John Earnest posted a letter threatening to kill Jews, somewhere, at some time. There was no indication of where or when this might happen. So what could they do about it? It’s no better than the “warning” George W Bush got in August 2001 that, several years earlier, Osama bin Laden had decided in principle to carry out terrorist attacks in the USA. There was nothing that could possibly have been done about it, because there was no indication of what kind of attacks, where, when, or even whether the decision was still in effect.

  24. Coffee Addict,

    I never mentioned anything about him being pro or anti-trump.
    I said that he is a white supremacist.

    Where did you see me mention trump?

  25. You realize what’s going on here?
    Nebach this lady was shot to death, and all we as Yeddin do is fight and argue???????

    I think we should listen to Rabbi Goldsteins speech again.

  26. Milhouse….the local TV affiliate that was livestreamed on the ABC networks referenced the rabbi/cantor of the neighboring synagogues and one of the bystanders who was a member of the Ner Tamid shul/synagogue/whatever also referenced the comments by their chazzan. However, WHY do you care how they were referenced by title versus what they said.

  27. Chossid, your remarks are 100% Emes! …….. I couldn’t believe the majority of the other remarks. Those who were privileged to have my father, Rav Moishe Pivovoz,zt”l, as a rebbe in Chasan Sofer for many years, would feel the same. My father was in the Mir in Shanghai. Reb Chazkel’s, ztk”l, teachings remained the major part of who my beloved father was. When I was bothered by actions and/or words of yid against yid, I would ask my father how yidden can act that way. His answer (in Yiddish)? ” Unfortunately, my dear daughter, this is not a world of mussar”