Army veteran who chased away Poway synagogue shooter speaks out

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SAN DIEGO — The army veteran who helped chase away the Poway synagogue shooter stopped by the FOX 5 studio to recount his experience.

Oscar Stewart, 51, was inside Congregation Chabad  Saturday when a gunman with an AR-type assault weapon opened fire on the last day of Passover, said police.

Stewart had been a member for six months at the time of the shooting.

Four people were wounded by the gunfire, including Lori Gilbert Kaye.

Kaye, who died protecting Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein was pronounced dead at the hospital a short time later.

Stewart recalls hearing pops coming from the synagogue lobby during a Torah reading. He originally started to run with other congregation members, but intuitively decided to turn around toward the gunfire.

When entering the lobby, he saw a young man with a rifle, as well as Rabbi Goldstein with  bloody hands.  He got as close to the shooter and yelled as loudly as he could, he recalled. Stewart’s memory from the exact moment is foggy and doesn’t remember exactly what he said. However, the words were loud and powerful enough to cause the gunman to exit to synagogue.

Stewart remembers working with an off-duty border patrol as suspected gunman, identified as 19-year-old John T. Earnest got into his car to leave. The border agent was thanked by President Donald Trump on Twitter, as well as at a rally in Wisconsin.


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