MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A man is recovering after he was shot outside a northeast Miami-Dade synagogue.
It happened Sunday around 6:30 p.m. at the Young Israel of Greater Miami at NE 10th Avenue and 171st Street.
Rabbi Dovid Lehrfield identified the man as Yosef Lipshutz, a devoted member of his congregation.
Miami-Dade police said Lipshutz, 68, was walking toward the synagogue when a Chevy Impala drove by. As he approached the entrance, police say the Impala circled around for a second time.
When Lipshutz reached the front door, the driver of the Impala then got out and open fire.
Koby Litowich, who has seen surveillance video of the shooting, described what happened next.
“A man was sitting outside waiting to attend services at the synagogue, a car pulls up, there’s a tree that slightly interfered with the shots that were fired and the victim tried to duck behind a bench,” he said.
Lehrfirld said Lipshutz was shot several times in his leg, his femur shattered. He was taken to Aventura Hospital where he underwent surgery.
“This person happens to have absolutely no enemies, he’s a wonderful person, everybody loves him, I don’t know if the man was out to harm a Jewish person or to harm a synagogue,” he said.
Lehrfield said Lipshutz came early every day for services because he would help a man who recently had hip surgery to walk inside.
“Jews in the neighborhood kinda feel like sitting ducks,” said assistant Rabbi Moshe Lehrfield. “Everybody was really scared and really nervous and they were all saying thank God the guy came at 6:30 p.m. and didn’t come at a quarter to 7 because at 6:30 p.m. there was nobody here.”
In his 35 years, Lehrfield said this is the first time violence has come to their door.
“Unfortunately anti-semitism is a thing of the world and you can’t get away from it,” he said.
Miami-Dade police are investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime.