Doctor Performed CPR On Synagogue Victim After Gunman Opens Fire, Then Realized It Was His Wife

Lori Gilbert-Kaye and her husband, Dr. Roneet Lev, were celebrating Passover at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue near San Diego when John Earnest, 19, allegedly burst in with an assault rifle.

By Gina Tron

A doctor who was celebrating Passover at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue near San Diego when it was attacked by a lone gunman began emergency CPR on a victim in the shooting’s aftermath, initially unaware that he was trying to save his own wife’s life.

Tragically, his spouse Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, didn’t survive.

Dr. Roneet Lev, a friend of the couple, said the doctor fainted when he realized the woman he was helping was his wife, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Gilbert-Kaye reportedly threw herself in front of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was leading the service when the gunman entered the place of worship. Goldstein was shot in the hand, CNN reports.

Noya Dahan, an 8-year-old girl, was injured when shrapnel hit her in the face and leg. Almong Peretz, 34, was shot in the leg trying to rescue other children.

Lori Gilbert-Kaye

John T. Earnest, 19, was arrested for the shooting. Authorities say he entered the synagogue armed with an assault rifle. About 100 people were inside at the time.

He allegedly posted an anti-Jewish screed online about an hour before the attack. The poster described himself as a nursing school student and praised the suspects accused of carrying out deadly attacks on mosques in New Zealand last month that left 50 dead and at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, in which 11 people were killed.

Earnest will be arraigned Wednesday.

At a vigil held for the Gilbert-Kaye on Sunday, she was remembered for her acts of kindness, which included accompanying a woman with cancer to every one of her oncology visits.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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