Latino Border Patrol Agent And Army Veteran Hailed As Heroes In Poway Synagogue Shooting In San Diego
When Oscar Stewart and Jonathan Morales when to the Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, California on April 27, they went to worship. When they left, the two men, an army veteran and off-duty Border Patrol agent, were hailed as heroes for confronting a lone gunman. Here’s what we know about the two men who shortened the killer’s rampage of terror on the last day of Passover.
One person died and three were injured in a shooting at the Chabad Congregation in southern California.
On the last day of Passover, a lone gunman entered the house of worship and opened fire. The news of another mass shooting broke the peaceful week of celebration in the Jewish faith.
According to the LA Times, the FBI was notified about a manifesto from the suspect but the shooting happened before the FBI could finish their investigation.
In the chaos, two men are being called heroes for their quick action that forced the shooter to flee.
Army veteran Oscar Stewart and off-duty Border Patrol officer Jonathan Morales were at the temple worshipping when the shooter entered. While Morales has been more withdrawn from the media, Stewart has shared their story.
The two men ran to the gunfire when they first heard the loud bangs echoing through the temple.
Stewart, an Iraq war veteran, was the first person to confront the shooter. Stewart told journalists that he ran to the gunfire and started to scream at the shooter. Stewart’s actions forced the shooter to flee the temple and try to escape.
The Rabbi asked Morales to come to the service armed because we live in a time where gun violence is commonplace in society.
According to USA Today, Stewart chased the shooter out of the temple and that’s when Morales told Stewart to duck. Morales, who works for Border Patrol, was armed and opened fire on the shooter’s car trying to disable it.
“Morales recently discovered his Jewish roots. He would travel three and a half hours from [the California town of] El Centro to pray with us at our shul,” Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein told media at a Sunday press conference, according to The Times of Israel. “He felt this was his house of worship. And many times I said, ‘Jonathan, you work for the border patrol. Please arm yourself when you are here; we never know when we will need it.’”
The shooting at Poway is another example of the kind of gun violence American’s face on a daily basis.
Whether at school, work, concert, or a place of worship, Americans live with a constant understanding that any day can be the day they are involved in a mass shooting.
“Hate and violence against anyone because of their race, ethnicity or religion has no place in our society,” senior Customs and Border Protection official John Sanders said in a statement, according to Reuters.
Our thoughts and prayer are with the victims, their families, and their community as they recover from this tragic event.