A man seen in video firing blanks inside a San Francisco synagogue during a meeting and showing a gun at a nearby theater has been charged with felony crimes that include hate crime allegations, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Dmitri Valerie Mishin, 51, has been charged with two felony counts of making threats obstructing the exercise of religion, one count of misdemeanor disturbing a religious meeting, and five counts of misdemeanor brandishing a replica firearm, San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said a news release.
Prosecutors said hate crimes were committed.
“This is another deplorable example where our Jewish community has been targeted for who they are and what they believe,” Jenkins said in the news release. “There is no doubt that antisemitism is real and we must stand with our Jewish community against it.”
Mishin was arrested on Feb. 3, following an investigation into two incidents, a shooting on Feb. 1, at a synagogue and a Jan. 31 incident at a theater, officials said.
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The suspect’s accused of walking into the Schneerson Center for Jewish Life in San Francisco’s Richmond District.
The San Francisco Chronicle cited witnesses saying he commented that he was with Mossad, the intelligence agency for Israel, before saluting and walking out the door.
Nobody was hurt. Police said they found expended casings at the synagogue that were possible blanks.
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The suspect is believed to have brandished a gun at a theater blocks away, police said.
A theater employee told police that a man pulled out a gun while he spoke with employees and looked at merchandise at the theater before leaving. Nobody was hurt.
A search of the suspect’s home allegedly turned up evidence related to both cases, but police did not elaborate on what they found.
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