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Jewish Journal

Wesleyan shooting suspect targeted Jews

by Brad A. Greenberg

May 7, 2009 | 4:36 pm

Police suspect Morgan was this gunman

Connecticut police are searching for Stephen Morgan, a 29-year-old man suspected of walking into a bookstore and shooting dead Johanna Justin-Jinich in Middletown, Conn. The Wednesday attack has not only the campus of Wesleyan University, where students were entering finals, on high alert but the local Jewish community and Jewish students too.

Why?

Well, Morgan was no friend of the Jews:

On the university’s Web site, officials said that Mr. Morgan’s journals had “expressed threats toward Wesleyan and/or its Jewish students.” A nearby synagogue, Congregation Adath Israel, closed on the counsel of local police, and a member of the Wesleyan community said that the university had relocated students who live at a Jewish center on campus.

On Wednesday, a 21-year-old junior identified as Johanna Justin-Jinich, from Timnath, Colo., a suburb of Fort Collins, was working in the cafe of a bookstore near the university campus when the police say Mr. Morgan shot her several times and fled into downtown Middletown. A friend who planned to room with Ms. Justin-Jinich this summer said that she was Jewish.

“This shooting, while tragic, was not a random act of violence,” the Middletown police chief, Lynn Baldoni, said at a news conference on Thursday. She cautioned the Wesleyan campus and the local Jewish community “to be extra vigilant.”

More from The New York Times here. In Los Angeles, a targeted attack on the Jewish community always brings back memories of the 1999 shooting at the North Valley JCC.

Here are some photos of the JCC attack that wounded five Jews and killed a Filipino American postman. I imagine you’ll recognize the kids being escorted, holding hands, across the street.

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