'Everyone Was Her Sister': Woman Killed At Synagogue Honored
KPBS Midday Edition / April 30, 2019
Family and friends remembered a woman killed in a shooting at a Southern California synagogue as a generous person dedicated to spreading kindness, with her daughter telling the crowd Monday that she knows her mother would forgive the man who took her life as she worshipped.
Speaker 1: 00:00 The suspect in the Habbat of Poway shooting will be arraigned in court this afternoon facing murder charges with a special circumstance of hate crimes that comes a day after 60 year old Lori k was laid to rest. Hundreds of people came together to remember the wife and mother during her funeral service held at the same synagogue where she was gunned down Saturday that gunmen armed with an ar style assault rifle, killed Kay and injured three others. The other victims have all been released from the hospital and are recovering pre history. There was at yesterday service and joins us. Prio welcome. Thank you. So set the scene. Um, and, and tell me who was in attendance for this. So there are actually hundreds of people there. The synagogue actually ended up being at capacity and so several people weren't allowed to obviously attend the service inside the synagogue, but they decided to stay outside and watch what was happening.
Speaker 1: 00:52 Um, on a big screen. People drove hours to be there in solidarity with this congregation. I spoke to several people of various faiths that just wanted the congregation of this synagogue to feel their love and support. There were also elected officials there, uh, members of city council, the mayor's of both San Diego and Poway Congress men and state senators. Um, there were also law enforcement officials like the sheriff, the San Diego police chief and the special agent in charge for the FBI. And now that we know the suspect is being charged of hate crimes. Was anyone there talking about antisemitism? There was actually a representative from the White House. He was the envoy for antiterrorism with a focus on antisemitism. Um, he was appointed by Secretary of State Palm Peo. And so he actually gave a pretty passionate speech at the very beginning of the service denouncing these types of acts. He referenced similar attacks that have happened around the world in recent months and he essentially said that this is evil, that, you know, we're seeing all these types of incidents happen all too often and we must stand together as a country and try to combat these kinds of incidents.
Speaker 1: 02:01 And we're going to dive deeper into that. And talk more about antisemetic violence in southern California. Coming up in our next story, but let's turn now to Lori K as she was remembered. What can you tell us about who Lori K was? How was she being remembered by family and friends? So I think one of the most important things to remember here is her last moments, uh, here on earth. We've heard the rabbi speak very passionately about Lori k. They've been friends for several decades, and he said that in the moments leading up to her murder, she actually defended him. He was also injured in this attack and actually had to have one of his fingers amputated. But she apparently stood in between, uh, the suspect and the rabbi essentially trying to save his life. So that was sort of the theme of the entire service that her friends and her family members wanted her to be remembered as a hero. We did hear from her husband, and it was very interesting. He said in, we don't believe in coincidences. We believe that everything that happens is because of God Almighty. And that really, that theme was evident throughout his remarks. But let's take a listen to what he had to say about his wife.
Speaker 2: 03:12 My wife was a person, is a person who did so much good in her life that no, sometimes people do good and things don't turn out. Whatever good she did always turned out and whatever I did that might not have been good. She repaired and made me look good.
Speaker 1: 03:31 He's actually a doctor and he also described performing CPR on his wife and he said that, you know, there wasn't a lot of blood that she didn't suffer that, you know, she went straight up is the way that he described it. Um, we also heard from her sister and her daughter and her friend, they talked about how she wanted to be a newscaster. She was a news junkie. She was very social. She made friends with everyone. She loved music, dancing in the kitchen, singing in the car. Um, let's take a little listen to what her sister had to say about her
Speaker 3: 04:03 being only 20 months apart. You and I shared a special closeness as a shy kid. I always marveled at how you could connect to people of all ages. Wherever you went, you met someone, you knew their life history. In 10 minutes you became fret, your teachers became your friends, whoever heard of that.
Speaker 1: 04:26 So yeah, there you can see another example of, you know, her family members just describing what a social and sort of compassionate person she was. Yeah. And Kay's daughter Hannah, I gave an emotional speech during which she highlighted other recent acts of terrorism from around the world. Yeah. She wanted to give a moment of silence and remember some of the incidents that have happened recently. And let's take a listen to that.
Speaker 4: 04:50 I would like to hold a moment and peaceful prayer for the victims of gun violence, religious violence, racism, and antisemitism all over the world. And I want just pay specific mentioned to two recent events, the tragedy in New Zealand and in Sri Lanka.
Speaker 1: 05:05 And with all of that in mind, how do they plan to move forward and get past fear? That's an excellent question. You know, jade, I've covered unfortunately so many tragic incidents over my 10 years in journalism. And what I found remarkable about this specific situation is how passionate everyone was about wanting to speak out and wanting to move forward and wanting to denounce these kinds of incidents of antisemitism. So I have a feeling, I mean, even the fact that they decided to hold the services in this synagogue where the attack happened, that there a very strong community and they're going to come together and be resilient. I've been speaking with KPBS reporter, Priya, Sri there. Priya, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you.