A California doctor, who was helping victims of the shooting at a San Diego synagogue last week, unknowingly performed CPR on his own dying wife.

The unidentified man was with his wife, Lori Gilbert-Kaye, at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue on Saturday to celebrate Passover when a gunman entered the building and suddenly opened fire at the worshippers.

Sacrificing For Others

During the confusion, the couple was separated when the doctor rushed over to help victims of the shooting. He was not aware that his wife was fatally shot after jumping in front of the synagogue's rabbi, who was about to be gunned down by the suspect.

Dr. Roneet Lev, a physician at Scripps Mercy Hospital and friend of the couple, told The San Diego Union-Tribune that the doctor even tried to apply CPR on the woman without knowing that she was Kaye. When the man later realized she was his wife, he reportedly fainted.

Lev said the couple was at the synagogue because Kaye wanted to say Kaddish, a Jewish prayer for the dead, for her mother who had recently passed.

"The irony is people will be saying it for her now," Lev noted. "God picked her to die to send a message because she's such an incredible person."

The man that Kaye had saved, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, sustained wounds on the index fingers of both of his hands. Surgeons who operated on the rabbi said he will likely lose his right finger.

Among those wounded in the shooting was 34-year-old Almong Peretz, who was hit in the leg with a piece of shrapnel just as he was taking some children in the synagogue to safety.

Danny Almog, a father of a 4-year-old girl that Peretz helped saved, called him a "hero".

In all, three people were injured following the shooting, with Kaye being the only fatality.

There were 100 people at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue at the time, according to authorities. The gunman's weapon, described as "an AR-type weapon", had jammed during the attack, which helped prevent additional casualties.

The Gunman's Anti-Semitic Sentiments

The suspect was later identified as the 19-year-old nursing student John T. Earnest. He was apprehended after police had intercepted him at Rancho Bernardo Road and Interstate 15.

David Nisleit, chief of the San Diego police, said the gunman had jumped out of his car with his hands up. He was taken to custody without any further incidents.

Authorities said Earnest had called 911 shortly after the shooting, telling officers that he had been involved in the crime.

An "open letter" allegedly written by the gunman later surfaced online. It outline his racist beliefs and white-nationalist conspiracy theories.

In the letter, the suspect claimed that he was inspired by other mass shootings in the past, including the attack at a New Zealand mosque that killed 50 people in March.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus denounced Earnest's actions. He described the gunman as someone with "hate in [his] heart", which was directed toward the Jewish community.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump condemned the shooting during a rally in Wisconsin.

"Our entire nation mourns the loss of life, prays for the wounded and stands in solidarity with the Jewish community," Trump said.

ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.