Jumat, 01 Oktober 2021

San Diego synagogue shooter gets life sentence without parole - ABC News

A 22-year-old man who killed a woman and injured three other worshippers in a synagogue has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole over the shootings in Southern California.

The man was arrested in April 2019 after he walked into a San Diego synagogue crowded with Sabbath worshippers and opened fire with an assault-style rifle, killing one woman inside and wounding three others on the last day of Passover.

An agreement with prosecutors that spared the man the death penalty left little suspense about the outcome of the trial, but the hearing provided victims and families a chance to address him.

Many gave heart-wrenching accounts of how their lives were upended, but that they were determined to persevere.

A lawyer representing the man, John O'Connell, said his client wanted to make a statement but San Diego Superior Court Judge Peter Deddeh refused, saying he did not want to create "a political forum" for white supremacist views.

The man has not had the opportunity to speak publicly since his arrest.

"I'm not going to let him use this as a platform to add to his celebrity," the judge said.

A police officer walks past a synagogue decorated with a menorah. it is cordoned off with police tape.
The man was arrested after he fled the synagogue having struggled to reload his gun.(

AP: Denis Poroy


The man — who was tied to a device that prevented him from turning to the audience in the courtroom — showed no visible reaction as he heard victim testimonies during the two-hour hearing.

Evidence was heard during his court case that the San Diego local was inspired by other xenophobic mass shootings around the world.

He also frequented dark corners of the internet, where those disaffected by mainstream social media sites post extremist, racist and violent views.

On April 27, 2019, the man entered the synagogue with 10 bullets loaded and 50 more on his vest but fled after struggling to reload. Worshippers chased him to his car.

Killed in the attack was 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was hit twice, in the foyer.

a woman with long brown hair wearing a yellow leather jacket holds up a photo of herself and an older woman.
Hannah Kaye witnessed her mother's death after the attack.(

AP: The San Diego Union-Tribune/Nelvin C. Cepeda


An 8-year-old girl, her uncle and Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was leading a service, were all injured. 

Dr Howard Kaye, Lori's husband of 32 years, said he had continued his rheumatology practice to help people heal, regardless of their backgrounds, in keeping with his faith but that it was difficult for him and their daughter to carry on at times.

Hannah Kaye recounted her last day with her mother in detail: Their "deep and humorous conversation" in the car, a final hug as her mother dressed for services and how she held her mother's head and said she loved her as she lay dying.

"She wanted to live another day, she wanted to survive," Hannah said of her mother's last moments.

Almog Peretz, who was shot with his 8-year-old niece, was emotionally unprepared to attend the hearing but a Hebrew translator read his statement about how the episode killed his "body and soul". 

"I have no motivation to see things to the end," Mr Peretz said, speaking of work and friendships.

The gunman's conviction for murder and attempted murder at the synagogue and arson for an earlier fire at a nearby mosque carry a life sentence without parole, plus 137 years in prison.

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2021-10-01 09:12:00Z

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