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Detectives have 'strong leads' in synagogue shooting

Investigators say the attack was not a hate crime and rule out terrorism in the case.

October 31, 2009|Richard Winton

Los Angeles police detectives said Friday that they have "strong leads" in the shooting that left two people wounded Thursday morning at a North Hollywood synagogue.

Detective Rich Wheeler says federal authorities are using high-tech equipment to enhance and clarify grainy video footage from the parking garage at the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic Synagogue where the two men were shot as they arrived for a morning service. The footage shows the gunman, officials said.

After determining that the attack wasn't a hate crime and ruling out terrorism, detectives are focusing on other motives, Wheeler said.

"We are working on some information but I am not prepared at this stage to share that," he said.

Wheeler said detectives may also re-interview the two men who were shot during the confrontation Thursday. Maor Ben-Nissan, 37, and Allen Lasry, 38, were each shot in the leg as they arrived for a prayer service about 6:20 a.m.

Several law enforcement sources told The Times that investigators were exploring whether the shooting was related to a business or personal dispute. The sources said detectives believe that one of the victims was the target and that the second victim may have been shot because he witnessed the attack.

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richard.winton@latimes.com

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