EUGENE, Ore. - Two members of racist skinhead gangs are under arrest in the firing of a high-powered rifle with armor-piercing bullets at an unoccupied synagogue.
The Sunday attack is the most serious against a Jewish institution in the Pacific Northwest since the 1984 bombing of a Boise synagogue, Marvin Stern, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai B'Rith, said yesterday in Seattle.
Christopher Vertrice Lord, 19, and George Dennis Smith Jr., 20, both of Eugene, were charged with intimidation, unlawful use of a weapon and criminal mischief, said Sgt. Rick Gilliam of the Eugene police.
Smith also was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm and was wanted on two outstanding theft warrants.
Police confiscated several weapons, white-supremacist literature and T-shirts and a Nazi flag, Gilliam said.
Splinters and sawdust were strewn across carpeting, chairs and the table where rabbis place the Torah during worship at Temple Beth Israel.
Behind the table, the bullets had left clean, round holes through two stained-glass windows.
At the far end of the hall, upper windows were shattered by bullets, as was a window that led to a room regularly used for children's classes.
Police found 10 bullet casings.
Local Jewish leaders said they plan a vigil Thursday night at the synagogue, while other church leaders plan to conduct vigils outside the synagogue from Friday through Easter.