Dr. Howard Kaye was at Chabad of Poway synagogue with his family when Saturday's shooting occurred. In the aftermath, the physician was called upon to treat injured victims.
He was overwhelmed and devastated when he went to perform CPR on a woman and discovered it was his wife, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. He then fainted.
Lori Gilbert Kaye was killed in the shooting. According to Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Kaye threw her body in front of him, shielding him from bullets and saving his life — giving her own in the process. Her sacrifice allowed the rabbi to safely escort a group of young children out of danger.
"In my own interpretation, Lori took the bullet for all of us," Goldstein said. "She died to protect all of us. This is Lori. This is her legacy, and her legacy will continue. It could have been so much worse."
Goldstein said when he re-entered the synagogue, he saw Howard and Lori Kaye on the ground, and their 22-year-old daughter screaming at the horrific scene. He called it "the most heart-wrenching sight" he had ever witnessed.
According to other members of the synagogue and those who knew Lori Kaye, she had a reputation for kindness and good deeds, leaving no one surprised that she would have been willing to sacrifice herself to save others.
"God picked her to die to send a message because she's such an incredible person, " said Dr. Roneet Lev, a friend of Kaye's. "He took her for a higher purpose to send this message to fight anti-Semitism."
Kaye was the only one killed by the gunman, 19-year-old John T. Earnest. Three others were wounded.
Earnest is currently being held without bond on a charge of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder for the crime, which according to his own words was motivated by a deep and violent anti-Semitism.