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Shooting at North Hollywood synagogue investigated as hate crime; man detained [Updated]

October 29, 2009 |  7:56 am

A gunman approached a North Hollywood synagogue this morning and shot two people before fleeing, according to police, who are investigating the attack as a hate crime. 

The shooting occurred at 6:20 a.m. at the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic synagogue in the 12000 block of Sylvan Street.

Two men about 30 years old were each shot in the lower torso and were taken to a nearby hospital in stable condition, according to an LAPD spokesperson. The LAPD described them as Jewish.

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LAPD sources told The Times that the gunman approached the victims as they were about to enter the temple for morning prayers. The sources said the gunman pulled out his weapon and fired. The gun jammed at first, then he fired again.

Detectives don't believe the motive was robbery, said the sources, who spoke on the condition that they not be named because the investigation is ongoing.

At about 7:40 a.m., Los Angeles police arrested a man near the synagogue, but the sources say they don't believe he was the gunman.

[Updated at 8:01 a.m.: LAPD officials have alerted other synagogues around Los Angeles about the shooting, and police have stepped up patrols at Jewish religious institutions.

The sources said detectives are trying to determine the motive, and whether the gunman acted alone or as part of a larger group.]

--Richard Winton, Raja Abdulrahim, Andrew Blankstein and Baxter Holmes

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