Ohio police arrest 13-year-old boy for plotting mass shooting at synagogue

Minor charged with misdemeanors after allegedly sharing ‘detailed plan’ to carry out attack at Temple Israel in Canton

The outside of Temple Israel in Canton, Ohio. (Google Maps screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
The outside of Temple Israel in Canton, Ohio. (Google Maps screenshot: used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

CANTON, Ohio — A 13-year-old boy from Canton, Ohio, has been charged with allegedly planning a mass shooting of a local Jewish synagogue.

The teenager, who is unnamed in court documents because he is a minor, is charged with inducing panic and disorderly conduct, both misdemeanors. He’s accused of posting a “detailed plan to complete a mass shooting” at Temple Israel in Canton, a city south of Akron, on the online platform Discord.

The charges come amid rising antisemitism in the United States over the last several years, according to authorities, including deadly mass shooting attacks at synagogues in 2018 and 2019.

The Canton synagogue case came to light on September 1 and was reported to law enforcement, according to court documents. A hearing is set for December 20.

A spokesperson for the Stark County Sheriff’s Office, who is investigating the matter, and an attorney for the boy did not immediately respond to calls seeking comment.

Temple Israel’s Rabbi, David Komerofsky, declined to comment on the situation because it involves a minor.

In a statement on social media, the Anti-Defamation League of Cleveland said the organization is grateful for law enforcement’s swift action and that it hopes it’s a “teachable” moment for young people.

“Hate and threats on social media, as in real life, cannot and will not be tolerated,” the league said in the statement.

Antisemitic incidents and rhetoric have spiked sharply following the shock Hamas onslaught in southern Israel on October 7 — when terrorists killed some 1,200 people and took some 240 hostages — and subsequent war in Gaza, for which Israel has faced sharp criticism over Palestinian civilian casualties.

The ADL says the two months since the war saw the highest-ever two-month tally of antisemitic incidents.

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