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Forward Recovery psychologist reacts to San Diego-area synagogue shooting

A Saturday shooting at a Poway, California, synagogue killed a 60-year-old woman and wounded several other people, news outlets reported. The city’s mayor, Steve Vaus, told CNN he considered the incident, at Congregation Chabad, a hate crime. It occurred on the last day of Passover. San Diego County Sheriff’s officials said a girl and two men, including a rabbi, were injured and taken to hospitals. Sheriff’s officials later identified the suspected shooter as San Diegan John Earnest. Poway is about 20 miles north of San Diego. San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore told television station KNSD, Channel 7, that Earnest had no prior criminal history and no apparent ties to white supremacist groups. Vaus told CNN “someone with hate in their heart … towards our Jewish community” had perpetrated the attack, which came six months after a shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh killed 11 people. Dr. Renee Solomon, a psychologist and CEO of Los Angeles drug and alcohol detox and recovery center Forward Recovery called Saturday’s California incident frightening and unsettling. “Hate crimes are more prevalent than ever,” she said Saturday. “This is related to our country being divided. Free speech should be allowed, but not when it is hateful and prejudicial against any races. “Our country should focus on coming together,” she added, “and not looking for differences to keep us apart.”

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