A 28-year-old man arrested in connection with the shootings of two Jewish men outside synagogues in Los Angeles this week was charged Friday with federal hate crimes, authorities said.
The U.S. Attorney's Office announced that Jaime Tran faces two counts of committing hate crimes for the two shootings, which occurred in the morning hours on Wednesday and Thursday. Both victims suffered gunshot wounds, but survived.
The federal complaint alleges that Tran targeted the two men because they are Jewish. If convicted as charged, he faces a maximum sentence of life without parole, prosecutors said.
The shootings occurred outside separate synagogues just blocks apart in the same Pico-Robertson neighborhood, federal prosecutors said. In both cases, the victims were leaving the synagogues and were dressed in clothing that "visibly identified their Jewish faith," the U.S. Attorney's Office said.
Both victims were shot at close range, the first in the lower back, and the second in the upper arm, the U.S. Attorney's Office reports.
The suspect identified the area as a Jewish neighborhood after he searched a business-review app for a kosher market in Pico-Robertson, prosecutors said.
Tran was tracked and taken into custody Thursday in Riverside County, Los Angeles police said in a statement. Detectives seized a rifle and a handgun.
The violence set off fear among the city's Jewish community as police increased patrols around houses of worship and officials decried the attacks.
"This is a relief," the Anti-Defamation League's Southern California branch tweeted after the arrest was announced. "Tonight, we can rest easy. Tomorrow, we will continue to fight against antisemitism."
"We are incredibly grateful for law enforcement's diligence in apprehending the suspect," the Jewish Federation of Greater Los said in a statement Thursday to.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass also denounced the violence after news of the arrest broke.
"I want to be very clear: Antisemitism and hate crimes have no place in our city or our country," Bass said. "Those who engage in either will be caught and held fully accountable."
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