A source in the San Diego Jewish community told Breitbart News on Saturday evening that the U.S. Border Patrol agent who chased the shooter at a Poway, California, synagogue earlier was given a gun by an armed parishioner.
The congregant had come to the synagogue to say Yizkor, the memorial prayer for the dead, as is customary on the last day of Passover, which coincided with the Jewish Sabbath. He had brought a gun in his tallis (prayer shawl) bag as a precaution.
When the shooting started, according to the source, the congregant handed the gun to an off-duty Border Patrol agent, telling him that he knew better what to do with the gun than the congregant himself.
The synagogue, Chabad of Poway, has taken many security precautions in the past, given the risk of antisemitic violence, according to the source.
However, in many communities, it is difficult to obtain concealed carry permits.
Last year, during a mass shooting at a bar in Thousand Oaks, California, six off-duty police officers present were unarmed.
The gunman in Poway killed a woman, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, as well as wounding three others, including Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who attempted to subdue the shooter.
A Facebook post being circulated widely notes that Gilbert-Kaye jumped in front of the gunman to protect the rabbi, saving his life and sacrificing her own.
The other two wounded individuals, 8-year-old Noya Dayan and her uncle, Alon, were reportedly visiting from the community of Sderot, in Israel — which, ironically, is subject to frequent terrorist attacks by Palestinian rockets from Gaza.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.