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Iraq Vet Rushed Synagogue Shooter

Woman killed in attack tried to protect rabbi
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2019 6:13 AM CDT
Updated Apr 29, 2019 6:59 AM CDT

(Newser) – Lori Kaye, the woman killed in Saturday's attack on a California synagogue, died a hero, witnesses say. When the gunman opened fire, the 60-year-old jumped in front of Yisroel Goldstein, the Poway synagogue's founding rabbi, witnesses say. Family friend Roneet Lev tells the San Diego Union-Tribune that Kaye's husband, a doctor, was in the synagogue at the time of the shooting and rushed to help wounded victims. Lev says that the husband began to perform CPR on his wife, but fainted when he realized who she was. Three other people were injured in the attack on the synagogue around 25 miles north of San Diego. In other coverage:

  • "An angel." "She didn't die a senseless death," Lev tells CNN. "She died advertising the problem we have with anti-Semitism and to bring good to this world ... If God put an angel on this planet, it would have been Lori." He says Kaye had gone to the synagogue to say Kaddish for her mother, who recently died, and "the irony is people will be saying it for her now."

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  • "Lori took the bullet for all of us." Goldstein praised Kaye at a press conference Sunday night, USA Today reports. "Lori took the bullet for all of us," he said. The rabbi said that after hearing a shot, he turned to see a man pointing a rifle at him. Goldstein said he lifted up his hands and a bullet blew off one of his fingers, but "miraculously, the gun jammed" after that.
  • Iraq vet rushed shooter. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore has praised Army veteran Oscar Stewart for saving lives during the attack. Stewart, 51, tells the San Diego Union-Tribune that he ran toward the sound of gunfire and screamed at the gunman when he encountered him. He says he chased the man out of the synagogue and was punching the outside of his vehicle when an armed Border Patrol agent who had been at the synagogue told him to step aside and fired several shots at the vehicle. "I served in Iraq," Stewart says. "I never thought I’d hear gunfire again."
  • Hate crime charges. Gore says suspected shooter John Earnest, who surrendered to police, is likely to face hate crime as well as homicide charges, the AP reports. He says the 19-year-old California State University- San Marcos student, who allegedly posted an anti-Semitic screed online before the attack, had no prior contact with law enforcement. Earnest is also a suspect in an attempted arson at a mosque last month.

  • Another hero. Witnesses say Almog Peretz, 34, was injured while getting children out of harm's way. Fox 5 reports. Danny Almog says Peretz "grabbed all the kids in his hands" and was shot in the leg as he was running out of the synagogue. "He didn’t care. He kept on running with the kids and just ran out," Almog says. Peretz was hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
  • Girl injured by shrapnel. Noya Dahan, Peretz's 8-year-old niece, was wounded in the face and leg by shrapnel. "We're shocked, it's a little bit scary. We're all over the place," her father tells CNN. He says the family moved to the US from Israel eight years ago to be somewhere safer, but his children are now asking him why they are staying there.
  • "A new reality." With a rise in hate crimes and high-profile attacks on houses of worship across the world, religious leaders are looking into boosting security, though guards are an expense many congregations can't afford, reports the New York Times. Rabbi Goldstein says the government should step up to help. "The United States government should recognize the severity and that this is a new reality, this is the new norm, sadly. If I had the funding, we may have been spared," he says. "How many more dead bodies will we have to see before we act?"
(Read more synagogue shooting stories.)

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