Patrols Increased at Temples after NoHo Synagogue Shooting

| October 29, 2009

NORTH HOLLYWOOD — Los Angeles police have detained a teenager in the search for the suspect who shot and wounded two men at a synagogue in North Hollywood. The incident is being investigated as a possible hate crime, and police have stepped up patrols at local temples and Jewish schools as a result.

The shooting occurred around 6:19 a.m. Thursday at the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sepharic synagogue in the 12000 block of Sylvan Street.

Two men, believed to be about 40 years old, drove separately into the synagogue's underground parking structure and attempted to enter the building for morning prayer when they were approached by the gunman, LAPD Dep. Chief Michel Moore said.

The suspect, "without any words," pulled out a handgun, shot one man in the leg and then opened fire on the other man, wounding him in the lower extremities, he said.

The victims, both Jewish, were transported to a local hospital in stable condition, Moore said. Their identities have not been released.

The suspect was described only as a black man wearing a hooded sweatshirt.

Police detained a 17-year-old matching the suspect's description about one mile away from the crime scene. Moore said the teen matched a "very loose" description of the suspect with his clothing. A handgun has not been recovered, he said.

Police are continuing to search the area as if the suspect is still on the loose.

A motive in the attack was not yet known, however, authorities earlier called the incident a possible hate crime.

"We have to assume, because it was a synagogue, it was a service (and) that there was no other apparent motive, we're looking at it as a hate crime," Lt. John Romero said.

There are several schools in the immediate area, including an elementary school affiliated with the synagogue. All schools in the search area have been notified by police to activate their security plans, Moore said, adding that it is up to the schools to determine whether that includes a lockdown situation.

LAPD officials have alerted other synagogues around Los Angeles about the shooting, and police have stepped up patrols at Jewish religious institutions.

The attack occurred 10 miles away from a 1999 shooting at a Jewish community center where white supremacist Buford Furrow wounded three children, a teenager and an adult. He later killed a letter carrier.,0,5720530.story

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Category: Synagogue/Jewish Security

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