Sheriff probing California shooting cites lessons from Pittsburgh synagogue massacre


(JTA) — The sheriff presiding over the investigation into a mass killing Thursday in Thousand Oaks, California, recalled his visit to a synagogue following last month’s synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh.

Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean spoke to the media Thursday after a gunman killed 12 people at a nightclub, including a police sergeant who was responding to the shooting. The shooter, a U.S. Marines veteran who was believed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, was killed. No motive is known.

“I went and spoke at a Jewish synagogue after the tragedy on the East Coast,” Dean said, referring to the mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue complex in Pittsburgh, in which an anti-Semitic gunman killed 11 worshippers. “When I talked to the parishioners there, I followed up on the rabbi. I said, ‘we’ve got to do something about the hate and we’ve got to do something to just spread the love.'”

It’s not clear which rabbi Dean was referring to. The Tree of Life rabbi, Jeffrey Myers, since the shooting has called repeatedly for a tamping down of vitriol.

“Stop the words of hate,” Myers said at a memorial in Pittsburgh the day after the shooting.

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