Makeshift memorial near scene of Poway shooting
Makeshift memorial near scene of Poway shooting Reuters

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said on Sunday that preparations made in the aftermath of the massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh “contributed to saving lives” in his hometown, JTA reports.

On Saturday, a gunman entered Chabad of Poway, killing 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye and injuring three others, including Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, the congregation’s spiritual leader.

Following the October attack at the Tree of Life synagogue complex in Pittsburgh, Vaus and the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department met with Jewish leaders at Chabad of Poway to discuss best practices for an active shooter situation, the mayor said.

“We memorialized the victims of the Tree of Life massacre, and then we gave them tips about what to do if hate comes knocking at the door,” Vaus told JTA. “Tips like, if you can run away, run away; if you can hide, hide; if you can’t hide, challenge the shooter.’”

During Saturday’s shooting in Poway, “all of that happened,” the mayor said, “and I have no doubt that that meeting contributed to saving lives.”

11 people were murdered in the October 27 attack in Pittsburgh which was carried out by white supremacist Robert Bowers. The briefing in Poway took place two days later.

Vaus praised one Chabad congregant, an off-duty border patrol agent who he said was able to gain access to a weapon not on his person.

“His courage likely prevented further bloodshed,” Vaus said.