Gunshot Fired at Indiana Synagogue; FBI Reportedly Suspects Hate Crime

'We're in this climate where acts of hate are happening everywhere,' local rabbi says.

Gunshot fired at Adath B’Nai Israel Temple synagogue in Evansville, Indiana.
Gunshot fired at Adath B’Nai Israel Temple synagogue in Evansville, Indiana. Screen capture, 14News.com

A gunshot was fired through the window of an Indiana synagogue in what the FBI are reportedly investigating as a hate crime.

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The bullet hole was discovered late Monday in the window of a Sunday School classroom at Adath B’Nai Israel Temple in Evansville. The apparent attack was reported to police on Tuesday morning, according to reports.

'FBI suspect hate crime' after gunshot fired at Indiana synagogue 14 News

Rabbi Gary Mazo told the Indianapolis Star that the shooter would have had to walk around to the back of the temple building and fire into the classroom from the temple’s playground.

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According to a local NBC syndicate, federal investigators are currently reviewing surveillance videos and have increased security of the school. The FBI will most likely rule the incident to be a hate crime, officials told the local channel.

The attack is believed to have occurred on Sunday night.

“We’re in this climate now where acts of hate are happening everywhere,” the rabbi told the newspaper.

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“The goal was to make us afraid, but we’re not going to let fear consume us. We’ll stand up to fear, we’ll stand up to hatred and we’ll stand together. We know this is not representative of our community. We know that we live in a community that supports each other,” the rabbi also said.

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke visited the temple Tuesday morning and issued a statement condemning the attack and calling it “a disgusting act of hate and bigotry that cannot be tolerated.” He also said in the statement that:  “Our community must come together in support of religious freedom and stand together with our Jewish brothers and sisters.”

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Indiana is one of five states that does not have a hate crimes law on the books.

The incident occurred a day after proposed hate crimes legislation died in the Indiana state legislature and after the Indiana Jewish Community Center received a bomb threat, one of 28 JCCs and Jewish schools targeted that day across the country.