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Synagogue shooting victim recovering from surgery

October 29, 2009 | 10:56 am

At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one of the men shot at the North Hollywood synagogue, Maor Ben-Nissan, 37, is recovering from surgery.

His relatives and friends are gathered at the hospital, drinking coffee and hovering around the TV, watching live coverage from the synagogue.

Ben-Nissan lives in North Hollywood with his wife, Anat, and 2-year-old son. He owns a tile store and is very devout, going to Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic synagogue every morning, friends said. He is an Israeli immigrant who came to the United States as a child.

"I haven't seen my husband yet," said Anat, whose eyes were red.

His brother-in-law, who did not want to give his name, said he arrived at the synagogue a few minutes before Maor and was inside when the shooting occurred. He heard four shots. "We panicked and ran," the brother-in-law said.

As he went out, he saw Maor hobbling up the stairs and saw the blood on his leg and on the stairs.

"He called my name. I ran to him," the brother-in-law said.

He called 911. He also put a pillow under Ben-Nissan's head and wrapped a sweater around his leg to try to stop the bleeding. "I was just trying to calm him down," he said.

"Hate crimes are alive. People have to be careful," the brother-in-law said. "It was a miracle it was nothing worse."

-- Anna Gorman in Mission Hills