Gunman attacks LA synagogue, shoots two men in the legs

| October 29, 2009

Two men were shot in the legs at a North Hollywood synagogue on Thursday, according to Los Angeles police. The shooting was being investigated as a hate crime.

LA police officer Rosario Herrera said a man with a handgun entered the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic synagogue at about 6:20 a.m. and shot two people. The LA Times quoted police sources as saying that the two casualties were in their thirties, and that both were in stable condition.

The victims were evacuated to a nearby hospital and police were searching for the gunman.

The LA Times sources were further quoted as saying that the men were attacked as they were entering the synagogue for morning prayers.

Police reportedly alerted other synagogues in the LA area of the shooting, and stepped up patrols around Jewish religious institutions.

Channel 10 reported that one arrest had been made in connection with the attack, though the LA Times said police did not think the detainee was the gunman.

It was not clear how many people were in the building at the time of the shooting.

A call to the synagogue was not immediately returned.

The attack occurred 10 miles (16 kilometers) from a 1999 shooting at a Jewish community center.

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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    The synagogue where the shooting occurred is in the heart of the San Fernando Valley’s Orthodox Jewish community and within walking distance of kosher markets and other synagogues. Many people have moved to the area so they can walk to temple.

    The sources said detectives are trying to determine the motive, and whether the gunman acted alone or as part of a larger group.

    LAPD detectives were reviewing security videotapes from the temple in hopes of better understanding the chain of events. They were also searching a nearby park to see if the suspect is hiding there.