Messages left by mourners are seen near the synagogue where a shooting took place in Poway, California of the United States, April 27, 2019. The suspect of Saturday's synagogue shooting in San Diego, California, has been identified as 19-year-old John Earnest, authorities said. One person died and three others were injured in the synagogue shooting. The wounded were taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. (Xinhua/Li Ying)
LOS ANGELES, April 27 (Xinhua) -- One person died and three were injured at a synagogue shooting in San Diego, California, on Saturday, San Diego County authorities confirmed.
A man has been detained for questioning in connection with the shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, said San Diego County Sheriff's Department.
Deputies from the Poway station were called to Chabad Way, where the synagogue is located, just before 11:30 a.m.
Multiple law enforcement sources told local media that four people were shot.
Poway Mayor Steve Vaus told media that the facility was targeted because it was a place for the Jewish community to gather.
"I understand that this was someone with hate in their heart, hate for the Jewish community," he said of the shooter.
Those wounded were taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. Their conditions have not been disclosed so far.
A spokesperson for Palomar Medical Center confirmed they received four patients, declining to give any more details.
The synagogue was hosting a Passover holiday celebration at 11 a.m. on Saturday, according to a post on its Facebook page.
A large group of congregants had gathered behind the temple following the shooting, said Sgt. Aaron Meleen of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. It was unclear so far how many people were attending services.
Some children were initially reported missing, he said, but they have been found.
"As you can imagine, it was an extremely chaotic scene with people running everywhere when we got here," he told reporters.
The Sheriff's Department asked the public to remain clear of the areas as the investigation will take several hours.
"Please respect the medical privacy of victims and their families during this difficult time," it tweeted.
It also asked the public not to spread misinformation that could cause concern or panic.
"Thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the shooting at the Synagogue in Poway, California. God bless you all. Suspect apprehended. Law enforcement did outstanding job," U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted shortly after the shooting.
In Los Angeles, police said they were closely monitoring the synagogue shooting in Poway and "communicating with our local, state and federal partners."
"At this time, there's no nexus to Los Angeles, but in an abundance of caution, we will conduct high visibility patrols around synagogues and other houses of worship," the Los Angeles Police Department tweeted.
The Chabad of Poway website said the congregation is a center for Jewish people of all backgrounds. It was established in 1986.
Chabad offers a wide variety of educational and spiritual opportunities, including Torah classes and lectures, Shabbaton dinners, and an array of family and social activities, according to the website.
Poway, about 20 miles north of downtown San Diego, is the safest city in the San Diego County and among the safest in the state of California based on FBI crime data and population statistics, according to report of The San Diego Union-Tribune, a local daily newspaper.
The incident comes exactly six months after deadly gun attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, which resulted in 11 fatalities and multiple injuries.