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A solemn Sunday after synagogue shooting

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 4/29/19, 12:37 pm

Hundreds of people gathered Sunday night for a vigil near the Chabad of Poway synagogue north of San Diego, where a gunman killed one woman and wounded three other people during a service celebrating the end of Passover on Saturday. Leaders at the vigil asked people to remember Lori Kaye, a 60-year-old congregant who, according to witnesses, stepped in front of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein to protect him from gunfire. Kaye died from her injuries, and Goldstein was shot in the hands and lost a finger. Goldstein spoke at the vigil Sunday, his injured hand wrapped in a bandage. “Lori took the bullet for all of us,” he said. “She didn’t deserve to die.”

The wounded also included 8-year-old Noya Dahan, who was hit by shrapnel in her leg and face. Her parents told Reuters they immigrated to the United States from Israel eight years ago after being injured by rocket fire there.

Goldstein said President Donald Trump called him to share his condolences. “The president expressed his love for the Jewish people and the entire community of Poway,” deputy White House press secretary Judd Deere said.

Also on Sunday, members of Escondido Orthodox Presbyterian Church, where accused shooter John T. Earnest, 19, was a member, struggled to make sense of how one of their own could commit such an act.

“We pray, Lord, for those who are hurting, and we pray for the victims of that synagogue,” Pastor Zachary Keele said during Sunday’s worship service, the Daily Beast reported. “We deeply mourn that this evil came out from us. We do not understand it, oh Lord, and we pray that you would forgive us for any such shortcoming, for any good deeds we left undone. We pray, Lord, that you will be with the Earnest family.”

Earnest, who surrendered to police shortly after the shooting, was the son of an elder at the church and attended nursing school at California State University San Marcos. An online manifesto attributed to him expressed anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hatred and a desire to kill Jews. Earnest is expected to be arraigned this week on charges of first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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