Police are reportedly investigating a shooting at a synagogue near San Diego, according to The Daily Beast. Around 11:30 a.m. PST, local authorities reportedly responded to reports of a man who opened fire at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, California. The San Diego County Sheriff's Office said multiple people are injured and that they have taken a man into custody for questioning, The Daily Beast reported.
In an update on Twitter, Sheriff Bill Gore asked people to stay clear of the area "as this investigation will take several hours." He also wrote:
Those wounded in the Chabad of Poway
#synagogueshooting were taken to Palomar Medical Center @PalomarHealth. Please respect the medical privacy of victims & their families during this difficult time.
Four patients were admitted to the trauma unit at the Palomar Medical Center at 12:30 p.m. local time, according to CNBC. Police confirmed to The Daily Beast that at least one person had died.
Poway Mayor Steve Vaus described the shooting as a hate crime "based on statements the shooter made when he entered," according to CNN. "I also understand from folks on the scene that this shooter was engaged by people in the congregation and those brave people certainly prevented this from being a much worse tragedy," Vaus told CNN.
“I can also tell you that it was a hate crime and that will not stand," Vaus said, according to The Daily Beast. "This community will come together, will put their arms around each other and we will be there for the families affected and be there in an ongoing fashion just like we always are.” Though the FBI is on the scene, they have not said whether the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime, according to CNBC.
Condolences poured in from elected officials on Twitter. Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wrote,
Heartbroken to hear of the San Diego synagogue shooting, particularly so on this final day of Passover. We have a responsibility to love + protect our neighbors. The longer the Senate delays holding a vote on
#HR8, the more we put Americans at risk.
HR8 is a bill that would require universal background checks on all gun purchases.
Democratic presidential candidate and California Sen. Kamala Harris said, according to ABC News, "I am disturbed by reports of a shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue and am closely monitoring the situation."
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is also running for president, wrote on Twitter,
Another horrific shooting at a place of worship, today at the Poway Synagogue in San Diego County. We must work every day to eradicate all forms of hatred and bigotry, and take serious action to protect Americans from gun violence.
Many on social media have noted the chilling timing of the shooting. According to Chabad of Poway's Facebook page, there was a celebration for the Jewish holiday Passover scheduled for 11 a.m. local time, CNN reported. The shooting also took place exactly six months after the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, which left 11 people dead, according to CNN. Adweek editor Josh Sternburg wrote on Twitter that, "It’s also the last day of Pesach, when Jews head to Shul to participate in Yiskor, which is where we pray for those who have died. And this year’s last day of Passover falls on Shabbat."