Two men shot at LA synagogue

By Jessica Elgot, October 30, 2009
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Adat Yeshurun Valley Synagogue in North Hollywood, an Orthodox Sephardi synagogue where the shooting took place

Adat Yeshurun Valley Synagogue in North Hollywood, an Orthodox Sephardi synagogue where the shooting took place

Two men have been shot and wounded outside a Los Angeles synagogue in what police described as a hate crime.

Maor Ben-Nissan, 38, and Allen Lasry, 53, were shot in the car park of the Adat Yeshurun Valley Synagogue in North Hollywood, an Orthodox Sephardi synagogue to which they both belonged.

The men had arrived for the morning service at 6.30am when a gunman approached them and shot each of them in the legs, without speaking or taking anything from them.

Mr Ben-Nissan and Mr Lasry have been hospitalised and are said to be in a good condition. Police later arrested a 17 year old man near the synagogue, who matched the basic description of the attacker as a dark-skinned man wearing a hooded top. They later released the youth and said he is no longer a suspect.

Police have warned several other synagogues and Jewish schools nearby to be on high alert after the shooting.

Lt. John Romero of Los Angeles police said "We have to assume, because it was a synagogue, it was a service and that there was no other apparent motive, we're looking at it as a hate crime."

    Last updated: 10:00am, October 30 2009