1 Dead, Suspect Detained Following Synagogue Shooting in Poway

Posted at 1:00 PM, Apr 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-27 18:13:19-04

UPDATE (3:12 p.m.)- President Donald Trump has offered “deepest sympathies to the families of those affected” by a shooting at a synagogue outside San Diego.

At the White House, Trump said Saturday that the shooting “looked like a hate crime” and called it “hard to believe.” He spoke from the South Lawn before flying to a rally in Wisconsin.

Authorities say a 19-year-old man opened fire on Chabad of Poway on the last day of Passover, killing one woman and wounding three others, including a girl.

They say he reported the shooting and surrendered without incident after an officer pulled him over.

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.

One person has died after shots were fired inside a Poway, California synagogue filled with people celebrating the last day of Passover. A suspect was taken into custody approximately two miles away from the synagogue while several patients were rushed to a nearby hospital.

The shooting occurred at Chabad of Poway on Rancho Bernardo Road, west of Interstate 15 just before 11:30 a.m.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus confirmed one death to NBC 7 just after 1:30 p.m.

It was not immediately clear what the motive was for the shooting or how many people were injured.

There were “several victims with varying injuries,” according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Aaron Meleen.

The suspect was detained “down the road” from the synagogue, Meleen said.

More than half a dozen police cars could be seen along Rancho Bernardo Road outside Phil’s BBQ — roughly two miles away.

“We are grateful to those in the congregation there that engaged the shooter and prevented this from being a much more horrific incident,” Vaus told MSNBC.

Those injured were transported to Palomar Medical Center Poway, according to deputies.

Saturday marked the last day of Passover.

“It’s a very important celebration for us. There’s lots of people inside, they’re praying,” Minoo Anvari, a member of the congregation, told NBC 7. “Everybody was crying and screaming.”

Anvari said her husband was inside during the shooting and told her someone came in and started cursing and shooting.

Chabad of Poway is located at 16934 Chabad Way.

Two other places of worship, St. John of Damascus Orthodox and Incarnation Lutheran Church, are located immediately next to the synagogue.

Initially, two children were reported missing during the incident, but Meleen confirmed they were reunited with their parents shortly after.

“As you can imagine, it was an extremely chaotic scene with people running everywhere when we got here,” Meleen said.

U.S. Rep. Scott Peters of California’s 52nd congressional district responded to the shooting in a tweet at 1:12 p.m.

Peters went on to say that Saturday’s shooting marks six months to the day of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department announced the following road closures until Sunday morning:

  • Eastbound Espola Road at Summerfield Lane
  • Westbound Espola Road at Avenida Florencia

The San Diego Sheriff’s Department is asking people to stay clear of the area.

No other information was available.