San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore has released the name of the 19-year-old white male who was arrested in connection with the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting.
John T. Earnest, 19, has been named as the San Diego resident who was arrested in connection with the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting. The suspect was apprehended by police shortly after the April 27 attack, which led to one woman dying and three people being injured and rushed to hospital. The shooting took place on the last day of Passover and exactly six months after the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, which left 11 dead. Here’s what we know about Earnest:
1. He has no known criminal record. “We didn’t find any prior law enforcement contact with Earnest,” the Sheriff’s office tweeted on April 27.
2. There are reports that he published a manifesto online, but law enforcement are still investigating those claims. “We’re looking into digital evidence and checking the authenticity of an online manifesto,” the department said in a tweet.
3. Police are investigating Earnest as a suspect in a mosque burning in Escondido, California. That attack took place on March 24, 2019. On that occasion the suspect left a note referring to the March 15 Christchurch, New Zealand mass shootings that left 50 dead, according to an NBC 7 San Diego report. Seven people were praying in the mosque at the time the early morning fire broke out, but they were quickly able to extinguish it.
Update #7 @SDSheriff Bill Gore confirms the name of the shooting suspect as 19-year-old John Earnest (DOB 6/8/99). We didn't find any prior law enforcement contact with Earnest. We're looking into digital evidence and checking the authenticity of an online manifesto.
— San Diego Sheriff (@SDSheriff) April 28, 2019
4. The suspect used an assault-type rifle in the Poway attack, Sheriff Gore told journalists at a press conference on April 27. It’s “an AR-15-type rifle,” he said, admitting that the shooting was being investigated as a hate crime. He also said that there are signs that the gun “might have malfunctioned after firing numerous rounds,” according to CNN.
5. John allegedly fled the crime scene and then called the cops, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit told CNN. An off-duty Border Patrol agent was at the synagogue and, as the suspect was leaving, the officer grabbed a firearm and exchanged gunshots with him and “put some bullet holes in the car Earnest was driving,” Gore said at a press update.
Thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the shooting at the Synagogue in Poway, California. God bless you all. Suspect apprehended. Law enforcement did outstanding job. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2019
President Donald Trump has tweeted about the Chabad of Poway attack. “Thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the shooting at the Synagogue in Poway, California,” he wrote. “God bless you all. Suspect apprehended. Law enforcement did outstanding job. Thank you!”