Police today were questioning a 17-year-old boy in the shooting of two men at the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic synagogue in North Hollywood early this morning, police told LA Weekly. The attack, which wounded the men, was being investigated as a possible hate crime, and area synagogues and temples were put on alert.
About an hour and a half after the 6:30 a.m. shooting at the synagogue parking lot in the 12400 block of Sylvan St. police were called to the historic Wilshire Temple at 3663 Wilshire Blvd. to check out a suspicious package, Los Angeles police Det. Gus Villanueva told the Weekly. The area was blocked off and the bomb squad was called. Investigators are still at the scene.
The suspect in the North Hollywood shooting was described as a young black man wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Reports indicated that the 17-year-old fit that description, but Villanueva declined to call him a suspect. The victims in the attack were wounded in their legs and hospitalized. Their injuries were described as non-life-threatening in reports.
In a press conference today, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa urged the public not to read too much into the race or motive of a possible attacker, saying, "None of us should presume or speculate more about this crime other than it was a random act of violence."
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The Anti-Defamation League today issued a statement about the shooting: "While we have not confirmed the motive behind this horrendous act, we obviously take a shooting at a synagogue very seriously and ask for the community to contact LAPD or ADL with any information," said Amanda Susskind, regional director of the league.