Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
Fast Forward

‘Act Of Courage’ From Jewish Navy Vet Saved Lives During Poway Shooting

Chabad of Poway member Oscar Stewart, one of two congregants who took action to chase away the shooter during the deadly attack on Saturday, was praised by San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore for his “act of courage,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Sunday.

Stewart, a Navy veteran who served in the Iraq War and now works in construction, told The Daily Caller on Sunday that his military training kicked in when he saw the shooter opening fire. “I knew I had to be within five feet of this guy so his rifle couldn’t get to me,” he said. “So I ran immediately toward him, and I yelled as loud as I could. And he was scared. I scared the hell out of him.”

The shooter ran away to his car, chased by Stewart. Then Oscar Morales, an off-duty Border Patrol agent, told Stewart to get down while he fired on the vehicle using his own weapon – which the congregation’s rabbi had urged him to bring to services. Morales was able to hit the car, but the shooter was able to drive away. The two then called 911 and reported the vehicle’s license plates. The shooter himself called authorities to reveal his location and surrender a short time later.

Stewart then attempted to administer CPR to victim Lori Kaye Gilbert, but was unsuccessful. “She had different political views, so we had interesting discussions when we talked,” Stewart told the Daily Caller. “We didn’t just talk about the weather. It was kind of cool. She was a very loving woman.”

“Mr. Stewart risked his life to stop the shooter and saved lives in the process,” Gore said.

Aiden Pink is the deputy news editor for the Forward. You can reach him at [email protected] or on Twitter, @aidenpink

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.