According to breaking news reports, two men were shot in the legs as they entered a North Hollywood Synagogue early this morning. A black man wearing a hooded sweatshirt has been detatined as the investigation continues.
TO ORIGINAL STORY
LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Two men were wounded in a shooting at a Los Angeles synagogue early Thursday in what police said was being investigated as a possible hate crime.
Michel Moore, the deputy chief of Los Angeles police, said the two men were shot in their legs after arriving separately in an underground car park at the Adat Yeshurun Sephardic Congregation in North Hollywood.
Moore said a black male wearing a hooded sweatshirt opened fire on the two men without speaking before fleeing the scene. The victims were being treated in hospital and "were stable and doing fine" Moore said.
"They are stable, they are conscious and they will survive their injuries," Moore told reporters at a press briefing.
Moore said a man fitting the "very loose" description of the gunman was detained near the scene shortly afterwards but stressed that the investigation was ongoing and remained "dynamic."
Other synagogues in the area had been put on alert although Moore said police were keeping an open mind as to a possible motive even though officers believed the Jewish temple had "played a role" in the attack.
The shooting came one day after US President Barack Obama signed a landmark hate crimes law hailed as a new step forward for US civil rights.
The act outlaws offenses motivated by a person's race, gender, identity, color, sexual orientation, or mental of physical disability.
"We'll assume right now that this synagogue did play a role in this and it's a reasonable expectation that we alert our other friends in the Jewish community as to their locations," said Moore.
"We have no remarks by the suspect to these victims that we're aware of at this early juncture that can identify what his motive was whether it was a robbery or this was an attack on these two individuals because of their presence at the synagogue," he said.
"We have worked to activate law enforcement resources and our contact with the Jewish community throughout this region. We have extra patrols already in place at all of our Jewish schools as well as the synagogues."