- One person was killed and three were injured in a shooting at the Chabad of Poway.
- The synagogue’s founding rabbi identified the victim as 60-year-old Lori Kaye, who witnesses said jumped in the line of fire to protect the rabbi who was conducting services.
- The rabbi was among the injured, but reportedly kept delivering his sermon during the attack, urging the congregation to stay strong and embrace unity.
- Two others, including an eight-year-old girl, were also injured in the attack.
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A gunman opened fire on the Chabad of Poway synagogue on Saturday, the last day of Passover, killing one person and injuring three people, including a child.
Rabbi Yonah Fradkin, executive director of Chabad of San Diego County said in a statement hours after the attack that the one victim of the shooting was 60-year-old Lori Kaye. Witnesses told the San Diego Union-Tribune that Kaye jumped in the way to protect the synagogue’s founding rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein.
“In the face of senseless hate we commit to live proudly as Jews in this glorious country,” Fradkin said. “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 Union-Tribune also reported Kaye was at the service to pray for her recently deceased mother. Kaye’s husband was also reportedly present, and rushed to perform CPR on victims before fainting upon realising one was his wife.
Kaye’s friend Audrey Jacobs wrote on Facebook that Gilbert-Kaye, who was the mother to a 22-year-old daughter, was a “jewel” and a “woman of valor.”
“Lori you were a jewel of our community a true Eshet Chayil, a Woman of Valor,”Jacobs wrote on Facebook. “You were always running to do a mitzvah (good deed) and gave tzedaka (charity) to everyone. Your final good deed was taking the bullets for Rabbi Mendel Goldstein to save his life.”
Goldstein, who was leading services, was among those injured in the attack when shots hit his index fingers. Despite the injury, witnesses said Goldstein finished his sermon and told his audience to remain strong.
One member of the congregation whose husband witnessed the shooting, Minoo Anvari, told CNN that the rabbi urged unity while finishing his speech.
“Rabbi said, ‘We are united,” Anvari said. “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.”
The Union-Tribune reported that others injured include 8-year-old Noya Dahan, who was hurt by shrapnel that struck her in the face and leg, and Almong Peretz, 34, who was shot in the leg as he ushered children to safety a nearby playroom.
Dr. Michael Katz, associate trauma director at Palomar Medical Center, told the Union-Tribune that the three injured were “doing well.”
A verified GoFundMe campaign was set up Saturday to raise money for the victims.
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