Man, 19, de­tained after synagogue shoot­ing in San Diego County

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY KRISTINA DAVIS , SARAH PARVINI AND J. HARRY JONES Kristina Davis, J. Harry Jones, John Wilkens, Pauline Repart, Teri Figueroa and Wendy Fry of San Diego Union-Tri­bune and Times staff writ­ers An­gel Jen­nings and Alene Tchekm­e­dyian con­trib­uted to this rep

A gunman with a semi­au­to­matic ri­fle walked into a sub­ur­ban San Diego County synagogue and opened fire Saturday, killing one per­son and wound­ing three in an at­tack au­thor­i­ties think was mo­ti­vated by hate.

A 19-year-old was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the shoot­ing, au­thor­i­ties said. The gunman, who is white, en­tered Chabad of Poway about 11:20 a.m. lo­cal time and started fir­ing.

He was iden­ti­fied as John T. Earnest of Ran­cho Pe­nasquitos. He was ar­rested and is be­ing ques­tioned by homi­cide de­tec­tives.

Earnest appears to have writ­ten a let­ter posted on the in­ter­net filled with anti-Semitic screeds. In the let­ter, he also talked about plan­ning the at­tack.

“How long did it take you to plan the at­tack? Four weeks. Four weeks ago, I de­cided I was do­ing this. Four weeks later, I did it.”

He wrote he was will­ing to sac­ri­fice his fu­ture “for the sake of my peo­ple.”

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus called it a hate crime, based on what the shooter was heard say­ing as he en­tered the synagogue Saturday, the last day of Passover.

A large group of con­gre­gants had gath­ered be­hind the tem­ple after the shoot­ing, sher­iff’s Sgt. Aaron Meleen said. It was not im­me­di­ately clear how many peo­ple were at­tend­ing ser­vices.

Passover is one of the most sa­cred hol­i­days in the Jewish faith. The eight-day fes­ti­val is typ­i­cally ob­served with a num­ber of rit­u­als, in­clud­ing Seder meals, the re­moval of leav­ened products from the home, and the shar­ing of the ex­o­dus story.

After the shoot­ing, some chil­dren were ini­tially re­ported miss­ing, Meleen said, but they have been found.

“As you can imag­ine, it was an ex­tremely chaotic scene with peo­ple run­ning ev­ery­where when we got here,” he said.

The wounded were taken to Palo­mar Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Es­con­dido, Calif., sher­iff’s of­fi­cials said.

As the at­tacker drove off, an off-duty Bor­der Pa­trol agent shot at his ve­hi­cle, but he got away, au­thor­i­ties said. He was cap­tured a short time later.


Two peo­ple hug as an­other talks to a San Diego County sher­iff’s deputy Saturday out­side the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in Poway, Calif.

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