Police were called to the shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego at about 11.30am local time where worshippers were celebrating the last day of Passover. Four people were taken to hospital and one has been confirmed dead. The suspected gunman, who was reportedly heavily armed, was arrested at the scene.
Members of the congregation prevented a “bloodbath” by tackling him to the ground, according to MSNBC.
Poway Major Steve Vaus told US media outlet CNN that one person had died in the shooting.
He also posted on Twitter: “Hate has no place in ANY community… least of all Poway.
“We will put our arms around each other and walk through this tragedy as the family we have always been and always will be.”
Rabbi Yisorel Goldstein, the founder of the synagogue, is reported to have been caught up in the shooting.
San Diego Sheriff’s Office tweeted: “A man has been detained for questioning in connection with a shooting incident at the Chabad of Poway synagogue.
“Deputies were called to Chabad Way just before 11:30 a.m. There are injuries. This is a developing situation.”
San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said on Twitter that his officers were assisting with the incident.
He said: “No known threats, however in an abundance of caution, we will be providing extra patrol at places of worship.”
The shooting comes six months after a gunman killed 11 people and wounded six others at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.