Possible hate crime at No. Hollywood synagogue

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From Los Angeles Times & staff reports:

A gunman approached a North Hollywood synagogue this morning and shot two people before fleeing, according to police.

Los Angeles Police Department officials said they are still attempting to determine the motive for the shooting, though the incident is being looked into as a possible hate crime.

The shooting occurred at 6:20 a.m. at the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic synagogue in the 12000 block of Sylvan Street.

Two men about 30 years old were each shot in the lower torso and were taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition, according to an LAPD spokesperson. The LAPD described them as Jewish.

LAPD sources told The Times that the gunman approached the victims as they were about to enter the temple for morning prayers. The sources said the gunman pulled out his weapon and fired. The gun jammed at first, then he fired again.

Detectives don’t believe the motive was robbery, said the sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because the investigation is ongoing.

At about 7:40 a.m., Los Angeles police arrested a man near the synagogue, but the sources say they don’t believe he was the gunman.

LAPD officials have alerted other synagogues around Los Angeles about the shooting, and police have stepped up patrols at Jewish religious institutions.

The sources said detectives are trying to determine the motive, and whether the gunman acted alone or as part of a larger group.

Locally, Jewish leaders said they were not immediately concerned about the shooting. Rabbi Simcha Backman of the Chabad Jewish Center of Glendale and Foothills said the central Glendale synagogue was not taking any additional precautions. He said he was monitoring developments and keeping in contact with LAPD officials.

“They are not suggesting that we go into hyper-lockdown mode because they are not sure of the motive,” he said.

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Written by Veronica Rocha

October 29, 2009 at 9:15 am

Posted in Crime, glendale

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