In two separate, nonfatal incidents this week, federal prosecutors accuse a 28-year-old man of firing at two Jewish men as they walked home from their synagogues.
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In a statement, U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said, “Over the past two days, our community experienced two horrific acts that we believe were motivated by an antisemitic ideology that caused him to target the Jewish community.”
“It is important that we celebrate our differences and work together to oppose acts of hate, especially in one of the most diverse regions in the world.”
The shootings took place in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood, home to a sizable Jewish population and renowned for its many synagogues, Jewish schools, kosher eateries, and the Holocaust-focused Museum of Tolerance.
The shootings occurred several blocks apart in this area. According to federal prosecutors, the suspect discovered the site after looking for a kosher market on a popular business review app.
The Los Angeles Police Department announced late Thursday that the suspect had been taken into custody “without incident” in neighboring Riverside County after an “exhaustive search.”
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Police stated that their investigation is still ongoing and that detectives have also found “several items of evidence,” including a handgun and rifle.
LAPD Chief Michael Moore tweeted, “There’s much more to this incident that we will share when appropriate.
Who Was Shot?
In addition to both victims being seen leaving religious services, they “were dressed in clothing that visibly identified their Jewish faith, including black jackets and head coverings.”
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According to a police spokesperson who spoke to CNN, both were taken to nearby hospitals and are in stable condition.
According to CBS Los Angeles, a drive-by shooter shot the first man in the arm. The second is a member of the Beit El synagogue.
Who told CNN that he had suffered minor injuries after being shot “three times at point-blank range” while he walked to his car, wearing a yarmulke, after morning services.
Police say there will be an increased law enforcement presence and patrols around Jewish places of worship in their surrounding neighborhoods this weekend “in an abundance of caution.”
In a statement, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass noted that this week’s shootings had increased tension in neighborhoods at a time when antisemitic attacks are already at an all-time high.
Anti-Semitism and hate crimes have no place in our city or our country, she said. “It is my understanding that both the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI are investigating these acts as hate crimes,” she said. The perpetrators of either offense will be apprehended and held fully accountable.