Man injured in Poway shooting sues synagogue over lax security
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Man injured in Poway shooting sues synagogue over lax security

Almog Peretz, who was shot in the leg, claims Chabad center did not use a $150,000 government grant it received to protect congregants against potential anti-Semitic attacks

Almog Peretz (L) and niece Lian Dahan, survivors of the April 27 shooting at the Chabad synagogue in Poway, California. (Channel 13 screenshot)
Almog Peretz (L) and niece Lian Dahan, survivors of the April 27 shooting at the Chabad synagogue in Poway, California. (Channel 13 screenshot)

JTA — A man who was injured in the shooting attack at the Chabad of Poway is suing the Jewish center for not protecting its worshipers.

Almog Peretz was shot in the leg in the April 27 attack. His 8-year-old niece was also injured.

Peretz was shot while gathering children together in the synagogue and ushering them to safety. One woman was killed in the attack, and the synagogue’s rabbi was shot and lost a finger.

The lawsuit filed on Friday in the Los Angeles County Superior Court alleges that the synagogue did not have proper security, despite a rise in anti-Semitic attacks nationally, and did not use a $150,000 government grant to upgrade security, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Chabad of Poway received the grant a month before the attack because the synagogue “believed that it was at risk of an anti-Semitic attack on its congregants,” according to the lawsuit. On the day of the attack, the building’s doors were not locked, and no guards or other security measures were in place, it says.

A sign asks for time to grieve, at the entrance to the Chabad of Poway synagogue, in Poway, California, April 29, 2019. (Gregory Bull/AP)

Peretz plans to sue the gun store that sold the shooter his weapon, as well as the Chabad organization, Fox5 San Diego reported.

Attorney Yoni Weinberg told Fox that the federal government had sued the Chabad of California in 2014 for not using grant money toward security.

The accused gunman in the Poway shooting, John Earnest, 20, pleaded not guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder. The murder charge is classified as a hate crime, making Earnest eligible for the death penalty. Earnest told a 911-operator right after the attack that he did it to save white people from Jews.

Chabad of Poway had no comment for either news outlet.

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