(February 16, 2023 / JNS) Security is increasing at Jewish sites in Los Angeles after two Jewish men have been shot in as many days.
On Thursday, someone shot a Jewish man who was leaving a synagogue in Pico-Robertson, a heavily Jewish neighborhood in the city. On Wednesday, a different Jewish man was shot around 10 a.m. leaving a different synagogue in the same neighborhood. Both men are said to be in stable condition.
Late Thursday afternoon, the Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement, which stated, “Detectives now believe the shootings may have involved the same suspect. The suspect is described as a male Asian with a mustache and goatee, driving a possible white compact vehicle.”
Earlier in the day, the shooters were identified as one white male and one Asian male.
LA Mayor Karen Bass said that “these attacks against members of our Jewish community are unacceptable. “My office is monitoring these incidents, and I am working closely” with local political and community leaders “to ensure that ALL Angelenos feel safe.”
These attacks against members of our Jewish community are unacceptable.
My office is monitoring these incidents and I am working closely with @CD5LosAngeles Katy Yaroslavsky, @jfedla's @RabbiNoah, and other community leaders to ensure that ALL Angelenos feel safe. https://t.co/rjiYYfzuCk
— Mayor Karen Bass (@MayorOfLA) February 16, 2023
The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles said in a statement: “While there is no indication that either incident is a hate crime, our Community Security Initiative has been in touch with local law enforcement to make sure our Jewish community is being kept safe.”
Writing on Instagram, Jewish security group Magen Am said the shootings are “deeply concerning.”
“Regardless of the motivation of the shootings,” it wrote, “Jews deserve to be secure, living and serving G-d in peace.”
Magen Am posted that Los Angeles police are unsure if either or both of the attacks were motivated solely by antisemitism. An Anti-Defamation League handle tweeted that it is unclear if the incidents are related.
Also on Twitter, another communal group, Shmira Public Safety, Los Angeles, urged anyone with video from either location or any additional information to contact the LAPD. It added it will have “an increased presence around the community.”
The national Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America issued a statement saying it is “greatly concerned over two shootings on consecutive days victimizing Orthodox Jews leaving their synagogues following morning prayers.”
“While we do not yet know who the shooter(s) are, if the cases are related, or what the motivations may have been, Agudath Israel feels that these incidents should be investigated as hate crimes until we know otherwise,” continued the organization, urging all Jews in the area to remain vigilant.
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