Synagogue head 'stabbed' to death in Detroit; US police warn against speculation

Detroit police officers work near the scene where Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue president, Samantha Woll, was found dead in Detroit. (Photo/ AFP)

A Detroit synagogue president has been found stabbed to death outside her home, US police said, warning against speculation in Samantha Woll's murder.

"While at the scene, police officers observed a trail of blood leading officers to the victim's residence, which is where the crime is believed to have occurred," Cpl. Dan Donakowski said on Saturday.

Police Chief James White urged "that everyone remain patient" while the investigation is under way despite "many unanswered questions."

"It is important that no conclusions be drawn until all of the available facts are reviewed," White said in a statement. "An update ... will be forthcoming tomorrow."

Council on American-Islamic Relations [CAIR] offered its condolences to Woll's family and the Jewish community.

"We are deeply disturbed to learn of the horrific murder of Samantha Woll, leader of the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue in Detroit. We extend our condolences to her family, her friends and the broader Jewish community, and we stand in solidarity with all of you," CAIR said on X.

Woll, 40, had led the Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue since 2022 and was a former aide to Democratic Representative Elissa Slotkin and campaign staffer for Attorney General Dana Nessel, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Police have not identified a possible motive and are investigating, the Free Press reported. Police found Woll around 6:30 am after someone called to alert them of a person lying on the ground unresponsive, it reported.

The killing comes as tensions over the Israeli war on Gaza run high across the US, which led to the killing of 6-year-old Palestinian boy Wadea al Fayoume, who was stabbed 26 times by his mother's landlord in Illinois.


In a statement, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Woll’s death was heartbreaking.

"She was a source of light, a beacon in her community who worked hard to make Michigan a better place," the governor said.

Nessel issued a statement on X, formerly Twitter, saying she was "shocked, saddened and horrified."

"Sam was as kind a person as I’ve ever known," Nessel said.

"She was driven by her sincere love of her community, state and country. Sam truly used her faith and activism to create a better place for everyone."

Slotkin also commented on X, saying she was "heartbroken at this news."

Duggan issued a statement saying he was "devastated" to learn of Woll's death.

"Sam’s loss has left a huge hole in the Detroit community," the mayor said. "This entire city joins with her family and friends in mourning her tragic death."

The Free Press said Woll had been active in a grassroots organisation aimed at building ties between young Muslims and Jews.


Source: TRT