Four Other Times U.S. Mass Shootings Targeted Jews

There have been several precursors in the past two decades to Saturday's massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue

Paramedics transport a victim of a shooting at the scene of a shooting afternoon at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, Friday, July 28, 2006.
AP Photo/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Mike Urban)

As news spread of  the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Jews — and Americans of all backgrounds — across the country were reeling from the shock. With at least 11 confirmed casualties, the Anti-Defamation League “believe[s] this is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.”

The alleged gunman, a 46-year-old white male named Robert Bowers, shouted “All these Jews need to die,” according to reports.

As details continue to emerge about the shooting, JTA took a look at other times U.S. Jewish institutions were targeted and the attackers’ affiliations.

1999 Los Angeles Jewish Community Center shooting

Date: August 10, 1999

Dead: 0 in JCC, 1 nearby

Shooter’s Affiliations: Neo-Nazi, white supremacist

Buford O’Neal Furrow walked into the lobby of the North Valley Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles and opened fire. He fired 70 shots that wounded five people, including three children. No one was killed at the JCC. Furrow then drove away and ended up fatally shooting a Filipino-American mail worker, Joseph Illeto.

>> Read more: White supremacist who hated Jewish 'infestation': What we know about the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter ■ Rabbi of neighboring synagogue in Pittsburgh recounts moments of trauma after attack 

The gunman later ended up walking into an FBI office and surrendering. Furrow was a white supremacist with ties to Aryan Nations, a neo-Nazi white supremacist group. Furrow, who said he hoped his attack would inspire others to target Jews, had considered attacking other Los Angeles Jewish organizations instead, including the Skirball Cultural Center and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He was later sentenced to life in prison.

2006 Seattle Jewish Federation shooting

Date: July 28, 2006

Dead: 1

Shooter’s Affiliation: Muslim who said he was angry at Israel

Naveed Afzal Haq shot six women at the Seattle Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, killing one. He had entered by forcing a 14-year-old girl at gunpoint to buzz the building intercom. Once inside, he shot six people and called the police to tell them he had taken hostages. Haq eventually surrendered to the police. He killed one woman, Pamela Waechter, and wounded five others. People who were inside the federation said Haq shouted about being a Muslim who was angry at Israel. However, some later suggested that mental illness was to blame. Haq was not a frequent attendee at mosque and had at one point converted to Christianity. He received a life sentence for his actions.

2009 United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting

Date: June 10, 2009

Dead: 1

Shooter’s Affiliations: Neo-Nazi, white supremacist

James Wenneker von Brunn entered the museum, which is located in Washington, D.C., and fatally shot security guard Stephen Tyrone Johns. Two other security guards shot back, wounding von Brunn before he was able to shoot anyone else. Wenneker was a white supremacist and Holocaust denier who had self-published a book in which he praised Adolf Hitler. He had been previously arrested in 1981 for attempted kidnapping and hostage taking at the Federal Reserve building. He died at the age of 89 before receiving a sentence.

2014 Overland Park Jewish Community Center shooting

Date: April 13, 2014

Dead: 3

Shooter’s Affiliations: Neo-Nazi, white supremacist

The gunman, Frazier Glenn Miller Jr., shot people in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City in Overland Park, Kansas. He also fired shots into the community center building. He then left in his car and went to a nearby Jewish retirement community, Village Shalom, where he also shot at people in a parking lot. Miller managed to kill three people, all of whom were Christians visiting the JCC or assisted-living facility. He had likely intended to target Jews; he was a neo-Nazi and a former Ku Klux Klan member. He was sentenced to death and is currently on death row.