LAPD arrests suspect accused of shooting 2 Jewish men leaving places of worship

Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Police in Los Angeles have arrested a suspect on accusations of shooting two Jewish men leaving houses of worship within the city's Jewish community in a 24-hour span, authorities said.

The unidentified suspect was taken into police custody without incident at about 5:45 p.m. Thursday in Riverside County, the Los Angeles Police Department said, adding that investigators recovered evidence, including a rifle and a handgun.


Authorities believe the suspect is behind two shootings targeting Jewish residents in the city, and are investigating the case as a hate crime.

"In an abundance of caution, there will continue to be an increased police presence and patrols around Jewish places of worship and surrounding neighborhoods," the LAPD said in a statement, explaining police resources will be reallocated "to provide a highly visible and preventative presence in the area."

"This is a relief," the Anti-Defamation League for Southern California said in a statement, following the announcement of the arrest. "Tonight, we can rest easy. Tomorrow, we will continue to fight against antisemitism."

The first shooting occurred Wednesday at about 9:55 a.m. in the 1400 block of Shenandoah Street, with the second shooting occurring at around 8:30 a.m. the next day in the nearby 1600 block of S. Bedford Street.


The condition of the first shooting victim was unknown, but Lili Bosse, mayor of Beverly Hills, said the second victim was in stable condition.

She also said the Beverly Hills Police Department will be adding extra security around the city's places of worship.

Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon said both Jewish men were shot as they were leaving places of worship.

"Our office is horrified by the shooting of two Jewish men who were leaving prayer service in the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles this week," he said in a statement prior to the arrest announcement. "Our Bureau of Victim Services is available to both victims & we are working with LAPD to ensure that those responsible are held accountable."

LAPD described the suspect as an Asian man with a mustache and goatee, driving a possible white compact car.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles said the shootings are being treated as a hate crime as the suspect "has a history of animus toward the Jewish community."

"As such, we are encouraged to also have learned that the U.S. attorney will take the case and file federal charges on civil rights violations," the group said in a statement.


Councilwoman Katy Yaroslavsky, the representative for the district where the shootings took place, said the violence occurred amid a rise in antisemitic attacks over the last few months.

"While there remain questions on the motivation of these particular shootings, we cannot ignore the pain and trauma that they have triggered in the community," she said in a statement earlier Thursday.

"Let me be clear, hate has absolutely no place in Los Angeles, and Jewish people deserve to live our lives free from the threat of violence and antisemitism."

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