The young girl injured in Saturday’s San Diego synagogue shooting had come to the US to avoid rocket attacks in Israel, her family said Sunday.
Noya Dahan, 8, had been with her family at the Chabad of Poway Synagogue when a gunman burst in, killing one woman who tried to save their rabbi.
Noya was left with shrapnel wounds to her arm and face — some near her eye. Meanwhile, Almog Peretz, her 34-year-old uncle visiting from Israel, was shot in the leg while trying to protect her, according to CNN.
“We’re shocked,” Noya’s dad, Israel Dahan, told CNN on Sunday.
He revealed that his family moved from Israel several years ago after their home in Sderot had been hit by rockets, injuring both him and his wife.
“We came from fire to fire,” the dad said, according to The Times of Israel.
Dahan said his new home had already been graffitied with swastikas, leaving his family wary of life in the US.
“[We were] under the impression that everything is good here. Today, we noticed this is not even close to regular life,” Dahan told CNN.
His brother-in-law, Almog Peretz, was visiting from Israel for Passover and was injured while trying to help children escape the attack.
“This is sad, but I am originally from Sderot, so we know a bit about running from the Kassam rockets,” Peretz told Israel’s Channel 12 from his hospital bed.
“At first we thought the ceiling had collapsed, but then I turned around and saw he was aiming his weapon at me.
“There were many small kids next to me.”
He said he was hit while taking three of his nieces as well as a neighbor’s girl to a safe hiding spot.
“As I picked up [a] girl, the terrorist aimed his weapon at me. I was injured in the leg,” he said, still returning to the synagogue to check on his relatives.
“I came back because one of my nieces was stuck in the bathroom. I had to go back and bring her,” he told Channel 12, according to The Times of Israel. “Fortunately, she stayed there and the terrorist had already left.”
Noya’s mother, Eden Dahan, called her brother “a hero.”
“Almog saved my daughters, he saved all the children. He just didn’t think about anything except how to save the children,” she told Israeli radio, according to Israel Hayom.
Noya and Almog are both in stable condition.
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