A 28-year-old man was arrested after allegedly firing two shots outside Temple Israel in Albany, New York, on Thursday, the first night of Hanukkah, while shouting “Free Palestine.”
There were no injuries in the shooting on the premises of the Conservative synagogue in New York’s capital, Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement, adding that she had spoken with the congregation’s rabbi. She said in a press briefing, however, that the synagogue has an onsite nursery school, “with at least two dozen children, preschoolers, who were on the premises.” She added that the facility went into lockdown but that all children have been released safely to their parents.
Mufid Fawaz Alkhader, 28, was arrested at the scene and will appear in court on firearms charges, according to a statement by the FBI. Additional charges, including hate crimes charges, could follow, law enforcement officials said.
The suspect shouted “Free Palestine” during the incident, the local police chief, Eric Hawkins, said during a press conference.