A shooting at a Chabad synagogue near San Diego on Saturday, the last day of Passover, marks the latest tragedy in an increasingly dangerous trend of attacks on houses of worship during services where congregations are at their most vulnerable.
The Chabad synagogue of Poway, California, had advertised online an 11 a.m. "Passover Holiday Celebration" on the final day of a week-long holiday marking the deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt. Saturday also is the Jewish Sabbath.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department responded at about 11:23 a.m. to reports of an active shooter at the synagogue, where four people were shot, including an older woman who died. A man identified by multiple law enforcement sources as John T. Earnest, 19, was later detained.
President Donald Trump spoke to reporters on the White House South Lawn on Saturday and said that based on conversations with law enforcement, the shooting "looks like a hate crime."
One Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., called the attacks an epidemic in a tweet that demanded an end to such violent incidents.
"Something is fundamentally broken in our society when any house of worship is made unsafe by gun violence and hate — again and again and again," Gillibrand said. "I’m keeping Poway and the entire Jewish community in my prayers. More than that, I don’t accept this. We must end this epidemic."
Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress, said "it is inconceivable that yet again innocent people have been targeted simply for their religion and for choosing to attend a place of worship."
"People of all faiths must stand together and declare that we will never tolerate such hatred," he added.
Poway is the third attack of its kind in the last six weeks and the fourth mass attack on a house of worship in the last year.
The manifesto contains a sprawling array of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and white-supremacist references, repeating common far-right talking points, and pledged to start an American race war.
Although the Islamic faith requires praying five times a day, every day, the Friday afternoon prayer services, known as Jumu’ah in Arabic, are highly revered because they are meant to be practiced as a community. It is the day Muslims are most likely to attend mosque.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the attack “one of New Zealand's darkest days,” and announced plans to ban nearly all military-style semi-automatic and assault-style rifles.
Hundreds of others were also injured during a wave of near-simultaneous explosions carried out by seven suicide bombers at three churches and three luxury hotels on Sunday, officials said. Police later reported two further blasts.
Sri Lankan officials said they were temporarily blocking social media to curtail the spread of false information and ease tensions.The defense ministry said the shutdown would continue until the government concludes its investigation.
Doha Madani is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.