Jessica Parks, right, hugs Tina White outside the Chabad of Poway synagogue, April 27, 2019, in Poway, Calif., after a shooting occurred inside. At least one person was killed.
Jessica Parks, right, hugs Tina White outside the Chabad of Poway synagogue, April 27, 2019, in Poway, Calif., after a shooting occurred inside. At least one person was killed.

VOA's Steve Herman contributed to this report from the White House. 

One person is dead and three others wounded by a man who entered a synagogue Saturday in Poway, California and opened fire.

At a news conference, San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said a white male entered the synagogue shortly before 11:30 a.m. PDT and opened fire with an AR-type assault weapon that may have malfunctioned after the first several rounds.  He said four people - a woman, a girl and two men, one of them the synagogue’s rabbi, were shot.

"Sadly, one of the individuals succumbed to their wounds," Gore said.  He added that the other three victims, including the rabbi, are in stable condition.

The other victims are two Israelis --  an eight-year-old girl and her 31-year-old uncle.  They moved to San Diego a few years ago from a town near the Gaza Strip that was repeatedly pelted with rockets.

Poway, California
Poway, California

Gore said an off-duty border patrol agent who saw the man fleeing the scene fired on the suspect. The suspect was not hit but his car was struck.

San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said the suspect apparently contacted police and later surrendered to a San Diego police officer who was en route to the scene of the shooting.

?He said the suspect was 19 and lives in San Diego.  

Nisleit tweeted earlier that his department is assisting in the investigation, and that while there are no known threats "in an abundance of caution, we will be providing extra patrol at places of worship."

Saturday is the final day of the Jewish Passover holiday.

Poway is about 25 kilometers north of San Diego.

Kevin McAleenan, the acting secretary of Homeland Security, said his agency “will take every appropriate action to assist the investigation and ensure that those affected by this tragedy receive the closure and justice they deserve.”  

President Donald Trump, speaking to reporters on the south lawn of the White House, said, "My deepest sympathies go to the families who were affected."

He added that the attack "Looks like a hate crime."

 

Neighbors and media members gather outside the Cha
Neighbors and media members gather outside the Chabad of Poway synagogue, April 27, 2019, in Poway, Calif., after a shooting inside that resulted in at least one death.

 

About an hour before the shooting, an anti-Semitic screed was posted online by a person claiming the same identity as the shooter.  In it, he praised the New Zealand mosque attacks in March and claimed responsibility for an arson attack on a mosque in Escondido, California in March.  

Authorities are investigating that claim.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.