A Miami man is in stable condition after being shot multiple times in the legs Sunday evening outside of the Young Israel of Greater Miami synagogue.
Police say Yosef Lipshultz, 68, was shot six times in a drive-by shooting while he was walking towards the synagogue's front door. Miami-Dade police detective Alvaro Zabaleta said the attacker was driving a black Chevrolet Impala.
Zabaleta told WSVN news that the car had circled the house of worship several times before the shooter opened fire.
"It circled once again, and by that time the victim was approaching the door," Zabaleta said. "That's when the driver of the Impala exits the vehicle and opens fire towards the victim, striking him multiple times in the lower extremities."
Authorities say it is too early to determine if the shooting was an anti-Semitic hate crime.
"It's too early to tell if this is going to be categorized as a hate crime," Zabaleta told HuffPost. "In order to classify a crime a hate crime, there are several elements that need to be present, and that's what investigators are looking into as we speak."
Synagogue president Damon Salzman called the attacker a "coward."
It does not take a criminal mastermind to shoot an elderly person sitting on a bench. It does not take terrorist to try and kill someone isolated and defenseless," Salzman wrote on the synagogue's Facebook page. "It takes a coward. It takes someone without courage to attack an elderly defenseless man sitting in front of a place of sanctuary. It takes someone devoid of humanity."
Salzman asked for people to pray for Lipshultz and to donate to his medical bills.
"His most immediate needs are being cared for by the able physicians at Aventura Medical Center. During this time, he requires our prayers. Later on, however, he will require assistance during what I suspect will be a prolonged recovery phase. To that end, anyone who wants to make a donation, can make it to the Young Israel of Greater Miami and in the memo write Yosef Lifshutz ."
Earlier this year, a gunman killed one and injured three others in a shooting at the Congregation Chabad Synagogue in San Diego County. Eleven people were killed and seven injured October 27, 2018 at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.