‘This Man Took a Bullet for the Jewish People,’ Rabbi Says of Officer Injured in Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting
A police officer who was wounded after being one of the first responders to arrive at the scene of Saturday’s shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue has received praise from a local rabbi for his heroic efforts.
“This is a man who took a bullet for the Jewish people,” Rabbi Yisroel Rosenfeld — the director of Chabad Lubavitch of Pittsburgh — was quoted as saying by Chabad.org about officer Dan Mead, who is currently recuperating at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. “He refuses to call himself a hero. He said, ‘I was just doing my job.’ But it’s clear that he is one. The Jewish community of Pittsburgh and the entire world owe this man a debt of gratitude.”
As Mead and his partner approached the entrance to the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday morning, they were fired on from a window by white supremacist gunman Robert Bowers and Mead suffered an arm wound.
Chabad.org reported that the actions of the two officers might have saved lives since it is believed Bowers wanted to go to his car and attack other sites. But after Mead and his partner engaged him, Bowers decided to hide inside the synagogue, where he was later arrested by a SWAT team.
A total of six Pittsburgh police officers were shot or injured while exchanging fire with Bowers, who had massacred 11 Jewish worshipers at the synagogue.
Rosenfeld — joined by his son — visited Mead in the hospital, and brought letters of support and thank you from second-grade students at Yeshiva Schools of Pittsburgh.