LAPD investigates drive-by paintball shooting of Orthodox boys
Another day, another hate crime in Los Angeles.
After services on Saturday afternoon, around 2 p.m., Israel Munitz, 13, and his brother Isaac, 11, went with their mother to visit their cousins’ home in the city’s Hancock Park neighborhood. Their mother, who was walking ahead of them, had just turned to walk up the driveway when a black Honda sedan drove by and someone inside shot paintballs at the boys. One hit Isaac on the chest, staining his white shirt with paint.
“My boys are really tough little guys, they were shaken up when it first happened but are OK now,” said their father, Yanky Munitz. “They are proud to be Jewish and will not allow this coward to change that. Isaac’s initial response was that he didn’t want to go out, but after his mom spoke with him, he decided to go to synagogue with the family later that day.”
Munitz filed a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department. The LAPD said it was investigating but had no suspects yet.
Munitz said that he also experienced antisemitism as a child. “They were random things, shouting antisemitic slurs at me, but nothing to this extent.”
Magen Am, the Jewish security team that patrols the area on a regular basis, was busy monitoring activity in nearby Pan-Pacfic Park where a Black Lives Matter and pro-Palestine rally was taking place. That event, billed as, “From Colombia to L.A. to Palestine and Beyond,” began at 3 p.m., an hour before the paintball attack.
“They can’t be expected to be everywhere,” said Munitz of Magen Am.
The Anti-Defamation League said that during the two weeks of military conflict between Israel and Hamas in May 2021, antisemitic incidents in the U.S reported to the organization increased by 75% compared to the two weeks before the fighting began, from 127 to 222. Many of these incidents appear to have been perpetrated by individuals scapegoating American Jews for the actions of the Israeli government.
“I raised them to be proud of who they are,” said Munitz of his sons. “I also taught them to be aware of their surroundings, but I never thought I needed to warn them about a passing car shooting paintball at them. This is a new low.”