Two Jewish Men shot and Wounded in LA

LilyRose Cartwright, Staff Writer

On Friday, February 17th, The “Justice Department” pressed charges on a former Riverside County resident due to two hate crimes on two Jewish men when he allegedly shot them as they were leaving a religious service outside two Los Angeles synagogues. (more information on The New York Times)

The man responsible for these hate crimes is a 28-year-old male named Jaime Tran. Tran reportedly targeted two Jewish people in an attempt to murder both victims. The first victim being targeted was said to be shot at close range that Wednesday while exiting the religious services synagogue. The victim survived but suffered a bullet wound in his lower back. The second victim Suspect in shootings of 2 Jewish men in L.A. neighborhood charged with hate crimeswas also shot at close range after leaving a different religious temple in the same area; this victim survived but suffered from a gunshot wound in his upper arm. (“He also admitted to shooting someone the previous day,” said the affidavit)

Both victims were harmed while leaving the religious synagogues in the same neighborhood. They were dressed in ways that quickly identified them as of the Jewish faith (such as wearing black jackets and head coverings). During the investigation, it came to light that Tran found this Jewish neighborhood on a review app for a “kosher market,” After he saw this market, he illegally drove over, and that is when the shooting happened. While investigating, detectives found several pieces of evidence, such as a rifle and a handgun; thankfully, there were at least three witnesses who either saw the suspect or heard the shots. The investigators quickly found Tran’s vehicle (a grey Honda Civic) and collected his background information, which “is outlined in the criminal complaint.”  Tran “has a history of antisemitic and threatening conduct,” said an FBI affidavit. Also, according to the affidavit in 2022, Tran had emailed old classmates insulting Jewish people; in the past, he had threatened a former Jewish classmate. Two Jewish Men Shot Outside Los Angeles Synagogues Within Two Days - I24NEWS

Attorney Martin Estrada made a statement at the conference saying, “For the past two days, our community has experienced two horrific acts,” Estrada said, “An individual motivated by antisemitism, hatred for people in the Jewish community, committed two tremendously horrible acts targetting individuals because of their Jewish faith.”

On Thursday, Tran pleaded not guilty in federal court but remains held without bail. One of Tran’s attorneys said, “We’ll be looking at the overall scenario in this case and addressing the charges.” She also claims that she expects to acquire “discovery-hearing evidence” within a few days as she prepares his defenses.

After hearing all this unsettling news, the Jewish community seems to be worried about their coming safety. It is said that some Kosher restaurant owners are now arming themselves as they are on edge about the shooting. “We have to protect ourselves,” said Sultan.