A shooting at a San Diego-area synagogue has left multiple people injured after a gunman reportedly burst into a Passover service and opened fire.
The incident took place at the Chabad of Poway synagogue north of San Diego just after 11 a.m. local time, police said. As the New York Post reported, the shooting took place shortly after the celebration of Passover had begun. The report noted that the service was set to end with a holiday meal with “matzah, wine, and appetizers.” It was unclear how many people were inside at the time of the attack, and whether the shooting took place inside or outside the synagogue.
There were some conflicting reports about the nature and severity of injuries. Some reports noted that only one person was shot and at least three others were injured, including children. Other reports indicated that there may have been other shooting victims. Four victims were transported to nearby Palomar Medical Center, The Daily Beast reported, and only one was said to have gunshot trauma.
The report added that the Chabad center was founded in 1986 and was meant to be an inclusive center for “Jews of all backgrounds who want to learn more about their Jewish roots.”
The attack at the San Diego-area synagogue comes just six months after the deadliest attack against a Jewish community in American history. A gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October, leaving 11 people dead and seven others injured.
Police arrested 46-year-old Robert Gregory Bowers, who officials said had posted a number of anti-Semitic comments on social media and believed there was a Jewish conspiracy to fund the Central American caravan of migrants who, at that point, were headed toward the United States.
At least four victims of the synagogue shooting in San Diego were taken to a medical center. According to the synagogue’s website, they were attending a Passover celebration. https://t.co/dzVkYQGvbg— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) April 27, 2019
The shooting brought a worldwide reaction and calls for social media platforms to take stronger action to remove hateful and anti-Semitic content from their platforms. As Politico reported at the time, the tendency of some social media sites to allow all types of content gave the alleged shooter a platform to spread hateful beliefs and become more emboldened in his own anti-Semitism.
Bowers was particularly active on a site called Gab, which offered micro-blogging similar to Twitter but without censorship, allowing all manner of content, including racism and anti-Semitism.
A police spokesperson said that a person was in custody after the San Diego synagogue shooting, but a name has not yet been released. Police have also yet to release any information about a possible motive for the attack, and the condition of the victims was not yet known.