Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/AFP/Getty Images

Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein recounted at a news conference Sunday evening the moment he saw the gunman in the fatal Chabad of Poway Synagogue shooting in California a day earlier.

Here is a young man standing with a rifle, pointing right at me. And I look at him. He had sunglasses on. I couldn't see his eyes. I couldn't see his soul. I froze."

Details: Goldstein said he was preparing his sermon Saturday, the last day of Passover, when he encountered Lori Gilbert Kaye in the lobby, who was coming to the service to pray for her late mother. He heard a loud bang when he went to wash his hands and thought she'd fallen. Kaye died of her injuries. Noya Dahan, 8, and her 34-year-old uncle Almog Peretz were wounded in the shooting, authorities said

"Miraculously, the gun jammed and in attendance at the synagogue, there was a Border Patrol off duty. As soon as the gun jammed and as soon as the shooting was going on, he jumped up in pursuit."
— Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein

The big picture: San Diego County Sheriff's Department arrested 19-year-old John Earnest. He was booked into custody on 1 count of first-degree murder and 3 counts of attempted murder, Sheriff Bill Gore said. The FBI is assisting San Diego County police in the investigation.

  • Authorities are investigating reports of a link to an anti-Semitic online manifesto and Earnest's possible involvement in the arson and vandalism of a mosque in Escondido.
  • National security adviser John Bolton told "Fox News Sunday": "It was a hate crime, no doubt about it."

Police praised the heroics of Oscar Stewart, a 51-year-old worshipper who chased after the suspect and caught up to him as he went to drive away, before an off-duty Border Patrol agent reached the vehicle and called for him to move so he could shoot at it. “Stewart risked his life to stop the shooter and saved lives in the process," Gore said.

In spite of the ordeal, Goldstein declared: "We are a Jewish nation that will stand tall! We will not let anyone or anything take us down!"

Go deeper

Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Technology

The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.