Witness says victims were shot point-blank

Yaakov Amos, a resident of the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem, stands outside the Kehilat Bnei Torah synagogue and describes this morning’s attack.

He says he was just completing the prayer for peace at the end of the Amidah prayer when he heard gunshots. He turned around, he says, and “saw a Jew wrapped in a prayer shawl on the floor.”

Amos describes crouching down behind the wooden stand used to hold his prayer book and seeing one of the two terrorists racing up to the congregants and “shooting them at point-blank range.”

Another eye witness, Joseph Pasternak, a father of eight originally from Argentina, says he saw both terrorists run past him and that one of the congregants was able to throw a chair at the terrorist wielding the firearm but not to disable him.

He describes stumbling out of the synagogue, filled with roughly 30 congregants during the early-morning prayer service, which began at 6:25, and taking cover in a utility closet until the police arrived on the scene.

— Mitch Ginsburg

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