California student shooter, who killed one woman and injured three other people tried to burn down a mosque last month and believed Jews deserved ‘nothing but hell’, manifesto reveals
19-year-old John T. Earnest opened fire at the Chabad of Poway Jewish congregation synagogue in San Diego, California on Saturday
John Earnest reportedly killed one person, injured three others at Chabad of Poway synagogue in San Diego
Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, was killed in the attack
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was shot in the hand, reportedly continued with the service
34-year-old Almog Peretz, and his niece, 8, from Israel who were visiting relatives were also injured
Manifesto posted online before the attack and allegedly by Earnest cites hatred of Jewish people as motive
It also takes credit for an unsolved arson attack against the Dar-ul-Arqam mosque in Escondido on March 24
The manifesto author reveals he spray-painted the message ‘For Brenton Tarrant’ in the mosque’s parking lot, a week before the arson attack
Tarrant a white supremacist killed 50 people at 2 mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in October
The 19-year-old accused of killing one person and injuring three others at a California synagogue allegedly tried to burn down a mosque last month.
John Earnest was taken into custody following the shooting at the Chabad of Poway Jewish congregation in San Diego on Saturday.
Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, was killed in the attack. The three injured victims were identified as Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, an eight-year-old girl visiting from Israel, and the girl’s 34-year-old uncle Almog Peretz, who was also visiting from Israel.
The manifesto author wrote that he was carrying out the attack on the synagogue because he was a good Christian.
‘My god understands why I did what I did,’ it read, according to The Jerusalem Post.
The author claims that Jewish people were responsible for the murder of Christ and now control the media and economy.
‘Every Jew young and old has contributed to these,’ it reads. ‘For these crimes they deserve nothing but hell. I will send them there.’
The manifesto author revealed he believed he would be freed from prison and promised to ‘continue the fight’.
Earnest was a student at California State University, San Marcos. CSUSM President Karen Haynes confirmed in a statement.
The author of the 4,000-word manifesto, which was posted online before the shooting, the author described himself as a 19-year-old nursing student and native of California.
The author of the manifesto said that he had been playing piano since the age of four. – Video from social media shows that Earnest is a talented piano player.
‘If you told me even six months ago that I would do this I would have been surprised,’ the author wrote. ‘I’m just a normal dude who wanted to have a family, help and heal people, and play piano.’
He wrote that he was inspired by the Christchurch attack, revealing that Tarrant was his ‘catalyst’.
The author also references the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue exactly six months to the day before the Poway attack, as well as the suspect in that case, Robert Bowers. Both Bowers and Tarrant are in custody.
Like Tarrant in his own writings, the manifesto author states that his end goal is to prompt the US government to begin confiscating guns, predicting that a civil war will ensue. The author said he had been planning the attack for four weeks.
The author of the manifesto also wrote that he does not support President Donald Trump, calling the president ‘Jew-loving’ and ‘anti-White’.
Much of the manifesto consists of a long list of detailed grievances against Jewish people, accusing them of planning a genocide against the ‘European race’.
Armed San Diego police officers executed a raid on a house thought to be the home of alleged synagogue shooter John T. Earnest on Saturday and were seen interviewing a man believed to be his father in a vehicle.
Public records show that the father is a high school teacher and the president of an orthodox Presbyterian church in Escondido
There are indications in online postings that the shooter planned to livestream the synagogue attack on Facebook, but did not succeed.
An anonymous post on the imageboard 8chan, posted roughly 30 minutes before the attack, linked to the manifesto and Earnest’s Facebook page, promising a livestream, which never occurred.
The 8chan post also included a ‘playlist’ of songs for the attack and a goodbye note.
The post does not specify an intended target, but makes clear that an imminent attack of some kind is planned.
At least one person saw the post and alerted the FBI, according to a post on Twitter. The person said that they got off the phone only eight minutes prior to the shooting, making a tactical response all but impossible.
‘We are collecting digital evidence and are aware of the manifesto,’ San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said at a press conference.
Gore said that Earnest had no prior criminal record, and no known ties to white supremacist groups. He said Earnest lived with his parents.
Public records show that Earnest’s father is a high school teacher and the president of an orthodox Presbyterian church in Escondido. The manifesto stated that the shooter did not get his beliefs from his family.
Authorities said the shooter was armed with an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle. There is initial suspicion that the weapon may have jammed during the shooting, limiting the loss of life.
Rabbi Goldstein, who founded the Chabad center in 1986, was reportedly shot and lost two fingers. Witnesses say the rabbi tried to calm the gunman and members of the congregation even after he was wounded.
An armed off-duty Border Patrol agent who was inside the synagogue returned fire at the shooter, who then retreated in a vehicle before calling 911 and surrendering to officers without incident, according to police.
Poway Mayor Steve Vaus, speaking from a police command center, characterized Saturday’s shooting as a ‘hate crime,’ saying his assessment was based on statements uttered by the gunman when he entered the synagogue.
The attack occurred shortly before 11.30am in Poway, a suburb of about 50,000 residents, when the suspect walked into the synagogue and started shooting, said San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.
As he was making his getaway, an off-duty US Border Patrol agent who was inside the synagogue opened fire on the suspect, striking the vehicle but apparently missing the suspect.
A San Diego officer was en route to the shooting scene when he overheard a California Highway Patrol (CHP) radio dispatch ‘of a suspect who had called into CHP to report that he was just involved in this shooting and his location,’ San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit recounted.
‘The officer was actually on the freeway and he clearly saw the suspect in his vehicle. The suspect pulled over and jumped out of his car with his hands up and was immediately taken into custody,’ Nisleit added.
He said the rifle believed to be the murder weapon was found on the front passenger seat of the car.
Major Vaus said that members of the congregation attempted to overpower the gunman.
‘This shooter was engaged by people in the congregation and those brave people certainly prevented this from being a much worse tragedy,’ Major Vaus stated, adding that the shooter had ‘hate’ in his heart.
It’s believed the man fired between 12 and 14 shots inside the center.
Witnesses say that even after being shot, Rabbi Goldstein called for unity and prayer among the congregation.
‘Rabbi said, “We are united,”’ said Minoo Anvari, a refugee from Iran.
‘This is something bad (that) is happening all over. And we have to believe that this bad thing is real and we don’t have to ignore it,’ she added.
‘We have to open our eyes. He prayed for peace. I respect him – even in spite of being injured he refused to go to hospital and he spoke. And he finished his speech and he then left the synagogue.’