GAITHERSBURG, Md. (WJZ)–Police say they have made an arrest after a Gaithersburg synagogue was vandalized last week.

Two suspects were caught on camera spray painting derogatory symbols on the Shaare Torah Synagogue just before 3:00 a.m. on April 7.

“One of the individuals had a skull looking design, the other had one from the scream movie that came out in the 90’s on his face,” police said.

Surveillance video showing the vandals covering the temple and school with swastikas and K-K-K symbols.

“I think it’s very sad that something like this is happening in our neighborhood, in our area,” said one nearby resident.

Members of the synagogue have painted over the hateful graffiti, but the hurtful sentiment remains– prompting community leaders to react.

“When such a despicable act is committed, it impacts all of us, regardless of religion, race or creed,” said Mayor, Jud Ashman.

“No one should suffer persecution, violence, or injustice because of who they are, and yesterday’s desecration of a place of worship is unacceptable,” said Maryland Congressman John Delaney.

People in the neighborhood shocked by the disrespectful behavior.

“I think unfortunately anytime of racism, especially anti-semitism or what not, its hard to hear growing up here in America,” said one resident.

This hate crime happening as the Gaithersburg community is preparing to recognize Holocaust Remembrance Day next week.

On April 14th, police say 18-year-old Sebastian Espinoza-Carranza was arrested and charged. He was released pending a court appearance.

Police say charges are pending against additional juvenile suspects .


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