Denver JDS high school students welcomed Poway synagogue hero agent Jonathon Morales to school on February 4th. Alumni parent Vicki Trachen-Schwartz brought Agent Morales to speak to the high school students about the tragedy that took place at Chabad of Poway and how he minimized the injuries and casualties.
Jonathon Morales is an 18 year veteran U.S. Border Patrol agent in El Centro, CA. Morales was off duty on April 27th, 2019 and attending Passover services at Chabad of Poway. He explained to the high school students that all of a sudden he heard gunshots. A 19-year-old man with a rifle had entered the synagogue lobby and started shooting people.
Agent Morales quickly ran to help. He knew that there was a gun hidden in the synagogue just in case something like this happened and he knew where it was. Morales crawled about 40 feet to obtain the gun and used it to draw the shooter away from the congregation and the social hall where there were children. The shooter ran off and was apprehended by the San Diego police a short time later.
Jonathan Morales is also a passionate Jew and he took the opportunity to speak to the students about his deep faith in G-d. He told the students that he usually brings his children to services but on that day he had decided to come alone. He believes that G-d intended for him to keep his children home that day where they were safe leaving him free to dedicate his complete attention to dealing with the attacker.
Agent Morales was named 2019 Police Officer Of The Year and is the first border patrol agent to receive the award. Morales told the students that they should feel safe but to always be aware and rely on each other for support. Denver JDS students asked great questions before the program concluded. Everyone was honored to have had the opportunity to listen to agent Morales tell his story of incredible bravery.