MCAS MIRAMAR–They risked their lives to stop a man who opened fire on worshippers at a Poway synagogue on the last day of Passover.
The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department awarded Oscar Stewart and Jonathan Morales with its Distinguished Services Medal at the Sheriff’s Awards Ceremony at the Bob Hope Theater at MCAS Miramar.
On April 27, a 19-year-old man began firing at worshippers inside the Chabad of Poway Synagogue. One person was killed and three others were wounded during the shooting.
Oscar Stewart was sitting near the back of the synagogue when the gunfire erupted. Stewart, a member of the congregation and an Army veteran, immediately directed everyone to get on the ground and seek cover. Risking his own life, Stewart ran towards the shooter. After the suspect’s weapon jammed, Stewart chased him away from the synagogue.
At the same time, Jonathan Morales, an off-duty Border Patrol agent, saw what was happening and also chased after the suspect. Morales fired a weapon at the suspect’s getaway vehicle before he sped away. The suspect was arrested a short distance away.
The brave and selfless actions of both Stewart and Morales helped prevent even more loss of life and injuries during the synagogue shooting. Their actions are the embodiment of the Sheriff’s Department’s mission to keep the community safe and free from hate and violence.