SFPD arrest man suspected of firing blank rounds inside synagogue, bringing gun into theater

ByCornell Barnard KGO logo
Sunday, February 5, 2023
Man arrested for shooting inside synagogue, bringing gun into theater
SFPD had been searching for the suspect, who allegedly fired off several blank rounds at a Jewish synagogue and also entered a theater with a gun.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco police investigators arrested a man late Friday afternoon in connection with an incident earlier in the week in which a man with a gun entered a Jewish synagogue and fired off several blank rounds.

Video from Security cameras showed the man walking into the Jewish Center Wednesday. We're also learning the name of the suspected shooter.

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The suspect is identified as 51-year-old Dmitri Mishin.

That incident happened at the Schneerson Jewish Center in the 2600 block of Balboa Street at about 7:20 p.m. Wednesday. No one was injured.

"I think we're all in shock, we're still taking it all in," said congregation member Matthew Finkelstein.

Matthew Finkelstein says members of the Schneerson Jewish Center are still processing the events of last Wednesday. Security video showed a man entering the center, pulling a gun and firing off several rounds.

VIDEO: Authorities search for suspect who shot inside synagogue; Rabbi calls it a 'terrorist attack'

Video shows a man firing gunshots inside the Schneerson Jewish Center in San Francisco. SFPD and the FBI are now searching for the suspect.

"People didn't even leave their chairs. This guy was weilding a gun. It's because they were paralyzed with fear," Finkelstein said.

Police added late Friday night that Mishin is also connected with another incident that occurred at about 8 p.m. Tuesday, when they say he entered a theater in the 3600 block of Balboa Street, brandishing a handgun. He then fled the scene. No one was injured.

"No one knows who this guy is. No one has ever seen him before. The fact he spoke Russian is telling, like he knew where he was going," Finkelstein said.

On Saturday, a police car was posted outside the small synagogue, which serves mostly Russian-speaking Jews. Finklestein explains why it took the center 24 hours to call police.

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"Some people asked why it wasn't reported that night. That's because in Soviet Russia, the person reporting the crime is more likely to wind up in jail instead of the person who committed it," he said.

Police investigators developed probable cause to obtain a search warrant and searched Mishin's residence. The search revealed evidence related to the incidents, which was seized.

SFPD and the FBI had been searching for Mishin since Wednesday.

"Terrorism doesn't have to have killings. In my mind, what he did was he came and he did a terrorist attack. He came to terrorize people," says Rabbi Alon Chanukov. He is a junior rabbi and vice president of the synagogue.

The center has beefed up security for Shabbat, or the Jewish sabbath, which began Friday at sunset and runs through Saturday.

Bay City News contributed to this story.

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