In the aftermath of the shooting at a Poway, California, synagogue on the final day of Passover, a 34-year-old man is being praised for saving children from gunfire.
KTLA reported that Almog Peretz acted quickly, grabbing children and running with them to the exits of Congregation Chabad.
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According to witnesses and friends, Peretz, one of the three injured in the shooting, helped others despite getting shot in the leg.
“(The gunman) was just shooting, shooting, shooting, shooting. Like crazy. Just spraying,” Danny Almog told KWSB. “All I cared about was finding my kids. I was on the floor crawling through the exit.”
As Almog crawled to find his children, he saw his father-in-law shielding them from the bullets with his body -- but his daughter was missing.
“I couldn’t see her anywhere,” Almog told KWSB. “I was screaming, ‘Yuli, Yuli, where are you?' And I was looking for her in the room.”
Peretz, Almog’s friend, called out to him that the girl was with him.
“He grabbed all the kids in his hands and was just running towards the exit (when) he saw another kid over there,” Almog said. “He grabbed him and started running and the shooter shot him in the leg. He didn’t care. He kept on running with the kids and just ran out.”
Peretz, along with 8-year-old Noya Dahan, who was hit by shrapnel, and 57-year-old Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, whose index fingers were wounded, were sent to an area hospital and later released, CNN reported.
Lori Kaye, 60, was killed in the shooting. Witnesses said she died protecting Goldstein form gunfire, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Police arrested suspected shooter John T. Earnest, 19, Sunday morning. He is charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of attempted first-degree murder, according to the San Diego Sheriff’s Office.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise $118,000 for victims of the Chabad of Poway synagogue. The synagogue is certified to receive the donations. More than $47,000 has been raised.
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