Breaking: Rabbi Fatally Shot While Walking to North Miami Beach Synagogue (UPDATED)
According to Miami-Dade police, as reported in a story from the Miami NBC affiliate (updated since first being posted; this story reflects that new information, as of 7:45 p.m. ET), two young black males approached 60-year-old Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Joseph Raksin Saturday morning as he was walking to a North Miami Beach synagogue on the 800 block of NE 175th Street.
The two males, one in a yellow shirt and one in an orange shirt, reportedly shot Raksin, who later died after being airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center.
The police said the suspects fled, one on a bicycle and one on foot. Law enforcement is also holding off labeling the attack a hate crime.
But, as reported by the Miami CBS affiliate in a story from July 28, about two blocks from where Rabbi Raksin was shot, the Congregation Torah Ve'emunah, at 1000 N.E. 175th Street, was vandalized. Around 1 a.m. that morning, a member of a community watch group found swastikas and the word "Hamas" spray-painted on the pillars of the synagogue.
The Saturday before, CBS reports, residents of Meridian Avenue, in a predominately Jewish neighborhood of Miami Beach, were leaving their home to attend a synagogue service when they discovered their cars had been vandalized. The two vehicles were covered in eggs and cream cheese, and the words "Hamas" and "Jew" were written on the car windows.
Miami-Dade police are investigating the synagogue vandalism, while Miami Beach police are looking into the damage done to the cars. At the time CBS posted its story, there was no direct evidence linking the two incidents.
UPDATE 7:45 p.m. ET: A newly posted story from the Miami ABC affiliate says that Rabbi Raksin--who is from New York and was visiting his daughter and grandchildren--was on his way to Bais Menachem Chabad, a few blocks from where he was shot, for a Sabbath service. The story also says, "Investigators said the shooting does not appear to be a hate crime." Police are asking anyone with information to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers, at 305-471-TIPS.