The NYPD stresses there is no specific threat against New York City, but has added extra patrols at 50 locations in response to the seemingly religiously motivated murders in Toulouse, France.
“It’s a horror, it’s a horrible thing that happened and it’s a huge tragedy,” said Helen Wolff. “People have gone crazy in this world.”
There has been outrage in the city’s Jewish community over the horror thousands of miles away. Officials in France say a gunman riding scooter opened fire at a Jewish school in Toulouse, killing a rabbi, his two young sons and a 7-year-old girl.
Now, 100 extra officers are under order to keep watch in Jewish neighborhoods around the city as well as at specific locations including the Museum of Jewish Heritage, the Israeli Mission to the United Nations and the 92nd Street Y.
“We’re concerned about the so-called copycat syndrome, where someone might see the events unfolding in Toulose and take it upon themselves to act out,” Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Monday.
“There are individuals out there who hate and if they thought they could get away with it, they would do it today,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind. “There is no doubt in my mind.”
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In New York City, the aunt of the Rabbi’s now widowed wife can’t comprehend the violence.
“They have killed innocent people, innocent children, and the teacher was only 30-years-old. They didn’t even have time to enjoy life,” said Annette Herskowitz of Fort Lee, who joined religious leaders at the French consulate, where they prayed and signed a book of condolence.
Rabbi Avi Weiss is urging French authorities to act quickly.
“When you don’t apprehend terrorists, that sends a message to other terrorists that they can murder with impunity,” he said.
French investigators believe the attack was just the latest in a string targeting minorities. Authorities say the gun used Monday was same one that killed three soldiers of African and Caribbean descent in the same area of France last week.
In all of these shootings, the gunman escaped on a scooter.
France President Nicolas Sarkozy has said he vows to find the killer.
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