San Diego Synagogue Shooting


On April 27, at around 11:30 a.m., John T. Earnest, a 19-year-old resident from San Diego, stormed into the Chabad in Poway synagogue with an assault rifle screaming anti-Semitic slurs. He opened fire on four people, including the rabbi and an 8-year-old girl. After opening fire, the shooter then fled due to his gun malfunctioning. An off-duty border patrol agent and a 51-year-old army veteran chased the gunman, with the border patrol agent opening fire on the suspect’s car while trying to shoot out the tires. His attack left a woman dead and three wounded.
A few minutes after the attack, the gunman called 911, telling them he was the gunman and his location. A K-9 officer responded to the call and arrested the gunman after he surrendered himself to the officer. The officers found fifty rounds, a bulletproof vest, and a tactical helmet inside his car. The rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein, and two others were taken to Palomar Medical Center.
After the attack, Rabbi Goldstein told the press that from these attacks that they should not fear this new terrorism that is rising. Earnest’s family apologized to officials and survivors about the attack, saying that “he was raised in a loving family and community that did not support hate.” A day later, famous YouTuber PewDiePie responded to the attack telling all his followers to take down a meme that was becoming popular, due to Earnest using the meme as an anti-Semitic slur before the shooting. President Trump tweeted on Twitter that he is doing the best he can in this investigation and sending thoughts and prayers to the survivors.
On April 30, 19-year-old Earnest appeared in court, showing no emotion to questions, only nodding his head and saying yes. He was also questioned about setting a mosque on fire in Escondido, California, responding “yes” to the question. Investigators also found racial slurs and anti-Semitic slurs on his social media and on his 8chan page. He is to reappear in court on May 30, and his hearing in June.