The Army veteran who chased the gunman
out of the California synagogue

By Laura Newberry. April 29th, 2019

Oscar Stewart was focused on the comforting rhythm of the Torah reading when pops of gunfire cut through the sanctuary. He watched fellow congregants of Poway Chabad jump to their feet and run toward the exits as if in slow motion, away from the violence unfolding in the lobby on Saturday morning, the last day of Passover.

The 51-year-old Army veteran began to follow them. And then, in a split-second decision, he turned around.

Stewart doesn't know why. In retrospect, the Orthodox Jew thinks it might have been the "hand of G-d."

Whatever it was that moved through him in that moment, it propelled Stewart into the lobby. He saw the young man -- who authorities say was 19-year-old John T. Earnest -- in a military-style vest wielding a semiautomatic rifle.

"Get down!" Stewart yelled in the loudest tenor he could muster.

The gunman fired two more rounds in response.

"I'm going to kill you," Stewart boomed. This seemed to rattle Earnest, who began to flee. .....

If any proof were needed that someone armed can mitigate a murderous attack, then this surely has to be it. There is every probability that the perpetrator may have been confident that he was going to a gun-free-zone to exact his mayhem, not expecting any resistance while he carried out his deadly mission. Tragically a life was lost and injuries sustained but - consider the alternative.


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