Within 24 hours of Friday’s deadly shooting at a synagogue in Poway during a Passover service, Chabad of Coronado, co-led by Rabbi Eli & Zeldi Fradkin, mobilized a response to show support to the survivors, coordinate a broader event to be rolled out in the coming days, and enhance the safety of Coronado’s Jewish community.
“The phrase ‘Never Again’ is often repeated,” Fradkin said. He invoked the term “Dayenu,” a core part of a Passover seder song about being grateful for having been given enough. In this context however, Fradkin suggested that “Dayenu” expresses that “the time has come when we have to say ‘enough is enough.’ We would not want in a million years for this to happen in Coronado.” He went on to say that, “we take security threats seriously. We spoke with the Chief of Police about taking proper security [measures] in Coronado.” The Coronado Police Department stated that, “In light of the tragic event that occurred at the Chabad of Poway on Saturday, the Coronado Police Department will be providing extra patrols at houses of worship in Coronado.”
Fradkin credits the unity and strength of the local community, including worshippers of faiths other than Judaism, with the support he has felt. “Coronado is a faith-based community. We’re friends, and close to each other. We smile together, we laugh together, we cry together. We are fortunate to live in a community where we feel at one with our neighbors.”
While attending the Generate Hope 10th Anniversary Celebration event at the Coronado Community Center on Saturday afternoon, Mayor Richard Bailey was asked to comment on the violent incident. “The Mayor of Poway is a personal friend of mine,” said Bailey. “The people of Poway are very fortunate that they have a leader like Steve Vaus. What you saw in that tragedy was people from all backgrounds coming together on the one hand condemning this act of violence, and on the other hand showing love and respect for one another. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”
According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, the deadly attack on the synagogue was carried out by a 19-year-old male who is believed to have acted alone. Witness accounts described the shooting suspect, who is now in custody, “entering the synagogue and opening fire with an assault-type rifle.” He was reportedly chased out of the synagogue by Oscar Stewart, a 51-year-old Rancho Bernardo resident who was attending the Passover service. While fleeing, the suspect reached a vehicle that he used to drive away, and that was hit by a bullet fired from the gun of an off-duty Border Patrol Agent. The suspect was subsequently arrested by the San Diego Police Department in Rancho Bernardo.
Of the four shooting victims, one was killed after being transported to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. She has been identified as Lori Gilbert-Kaye. A funeral service will be held for her on Monday, April 29, 2019. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein sustained gunshot wounds to his hands, while Almog Peretz, a 34-year-old male, and an 8-year-old child sustained shrapnel wounds. “Doctors say they are doing well.”