Long Beach police are investigating two BB gun shootings over the weekend, including an incident in which yeshiva students were shot and another where two women were struck.
Lt. Mark Stark, a spokesman for the Police Department, said the first incident occurred on Friday night just before midnight. when three women, two of whom he said are Latina, were walking onto the boardwalk at Magnolia Boulevard. Two of the women women were struck by what is believed to be a BB gun.
“They reported seeing a dark-colored SUV with the window open,” Stark said, adding that the women were not seriously injured.
On Saturday, Stark said, at 11:50 p.m., three yeshiva students were shot within a four minute span while walking on Beech Street between Magnolia and Riverside boulevards.
“This one was on Beech Street and it was two incidents — one was closer to Riverside and the other closer to Magnolia,” Stark said. “The boys were walking from the yeshiva to the dorms and at least two of them reported a sensation of pain — at least one was hit in the leg, and another one said his hat was hit.”
The students also described a dark SUV involved in the attack.
The incidents come as Long Beach police have already stepped up patrols at places of worship in the wake of the attack on the Pittsburgh synagogue, where 11 worshippers were killed by a gunman in the Tree of Life Congregation. Police are investigating whether the yeshiva students were targeted because of their faith.
"Everything is being investigated, and at the end, it's possible that someone may be charged with a hate crime," Stark said. "We’re checking [surveillance] video and checking the plates. We’re continuing the extra patrols in the wake of the Pittsburgh attack, including church and temple visits."