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Rabbi recalls coming face-to-face with synagogue shooter

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 28, 2019 - Duration: 02:30s

Rabbi recalls coming face-to-face with synagogue shooter

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was wounded in Saturday's deadly shooting at his California synagogue, recalls on Sunday coming face-to-face with the synagogue shooter the day before and praised an off-duty U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent who fired at the fleeing suspect.

Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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Rabbi recalls coming face-to-face with synagogue shooter

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was wounded in Saturday's deadly shooting at his California synagogue, recalls on Sunday coming face-to-face with the synagogue shooter and he praised an off-duty U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent who fired at the fleeing suspect.

"I turn around and I see a sight, undescribable.

Here is a young man standing with a rifle, pointing right at me," the rabbi, who lost a finger and had surgery to try to save more of his hand, said.

The U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent, who has not been identified, had recently discovered his Jewish heritage and traveled more than 100 miles (160 km) each way to visit the synagogue from his home in El Centro, a city on the border with Mexico, the rabbi said.

The sheriff of San Diego County, Bill Gore, told reporters on Saturday the officer fired as the gunman was fleeing, missing the suspect but hitting his car.

One woman was killed and three others wounded, including the rabbi.

Shortly after the shooting, the suspected gunman, 19-year-old John Earnest, telephoned the California Highway Patrol to say he was involved and then surrendered to police on a highway in nearby Rancho Bernardo.

Earnest appears to be the author of a "manifesto" posted online who claimed to have set fire to a mosque last month and drew inspiration from last month's mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people.

The Border Patrol agent's actions were praised by U.S. President Donald Trump, who wrote on Twitter: "He may have been off duty but his talents for Law Enforcement weren't!" In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said that one of its off-duty agents "was present and took actions that may have prevented additional loss of life." "Hate and violence against anyone because of their race, ethnicity or religion has no place in our society," senior CBP official John Sanders said in a statement.

"CBP will fully support our law enforcement partners who are investigating."

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