LAPD Goes on Citywide Tactical Alert after Synagogue Shooting [Updated]
An early morning shooting at a North Hollywood synagogue has set in motion a series of precautionary actions just in case the incident was part of a larger plan. The LAPD is now on a citywide tactical alert, the Operations Center has been activated at a Level One and the FBI has joined into the investigation. Police say they are increasing patrols around "critical Jewish sites in their areas" and has alertet all Jewish day schools and synagogues of the incident.
Still, no motive for the shooting, which left two Jewish worshippers at Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic Synagogue with non life threatening injuries, has been determined. Currently, detectives are looking into three possibilities: an unsuccessful armed robbery attempt, a random act of violence or a possible hate crime.
At 6:19 a.m., "one of the victims had just gotten out of his car in the underground garage of the Synagogue and was near a stairwell when he was approached by a black man wearing what has been described as a dark color sweatshirt with a hood," explained an LAPD statement. "Investigators believe that without warning, the gunman tried to shoot the man, and his weapon malfunctioned. As he tried to get the weapon to work, a second victim heard and saw what was happening and approached the gunman. At that point, the suspect shot both of the victims. He then ran on foot from the Synagogue parking garage."
One juvenile male, who fit the brief description of the suspect was detained over an hour after the shooting, although his involvement was uncertain [Update: Police said he was released] . Security footage from the parking lot is being reviewed.
Both victims, one 38 and the other 53, were shot in the legs and sent to the hospital.