SF synagogue leaders ask for hate crime charges against man following shooting

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Bay Area synagogue asking for hate crime charges following shooting
Leaders at Schneerson Synagogue are calling for the San Francisco district attorney to file hate crime charges against man a for firing a gun inside.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Leaders at the Schneerson Synagogue are calling for District Attorney Brooke Jenkins to file hate crime charges against 51-year-old Dmitri Mishin, who was arrested last week for firing a gun inside their synagogue.

"We want hate crime charges," said Alon Chanukov, the junior rabbi at the center. "When they actually charge him officially, we hope that is what he is on trial for, and that is what he is accused of."

Chanukov says he was been made aware of anti-Semitic social media posts on Mishin's accounts. Chanukov says Mishin posted a video of him lighting something on fire outside their synagogue a week before he walked in with a gun and fired blank rounds.

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

"We didn't think much of it at the time," Chanukov said referring to the video of the fire. "Now we know he has been to our center before. We thought it was maybe a homeless person, or a teenager, but he has a twitter account where he posted starting a fire outside the synagogue"

San Francisco police arrested Mishin on Friday. He has not been formally charged. The San Francisco District Attorney's office says they will make a decision on Tuesday on charges.Chanukov says he has seen other anti-Semitic items posted on his twitter.

"His Twitter account has Nazi propaganda," he said.

INTERACTIVE: Take a look at the ABC7 Neighborhood Safety Tracker

Agencies like the Anti-Defamation League are once again calling for an end to violent rhetoric spread online.

"We're at a time where the Department of Homeland Security has told us the U.S. remains in a heightened threat environment," said Seth Brysk, the regional director of ADL. "In particular they cited things like lone offenders and small groups motivated by a range of ideological beliefs."

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.

MORE: Local synagogues take active shooter training in response to nationwide events

Despite the incident, synagogue leaders are telling their congregation to keep showing up.

"We are running full service," Chanukov said. "We don't want this hate to bother us. We are still opening our doors and inviting everyone to come."

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live