The dad and mom of a 19-year-old faculty scholar suspected of attacking a Southern California synagogue mentioned Monday that they’re shocked and saddened that “he’s now a part of the historical past of evil that has been perpetrated on Jewish individuals for hundreds of years.”John T. Earnest’s dad and mom mentioned they raised him and his 5 siblings in a household, religion and group that rejected hate.
“Our son’s actions have been knowledgeable by individuals we have no idea, and concepts we don’t maintain,” the dad and mom mentioned in a press release, which didn’t embody their names.
A gunman on Saturday burst into the Chabad of Poway close to San Diego on the final day of Passover, a significant Jewish vacation that celebrates freedom, and opened hearth with an assault-style rifle, killing a girl and wounding a rabbi and two others.
“How our son was drawn to such darkness is a terrifying thriller to us, although we’re assured that legislation enforcement will uncover many particulars of the trail that he took to this evil and despicable act,” the assertion mentioned.
Earnest’s dad and mom, who’re cooperating with investigators, mentioned their disappointment “pales compared to the grief and anguish our son has brought on for therefore many harmless individuals.”
Earll Pott, a household legal professional who issued the assertion, mentioned the dad and mom won’t present a authorized protection for his or her son, who will probably be represented by a public defender. They requested for privateness.
About 5 minutes earlier than the assault, the FBI mentioned it obtained tips on a threatening social media submit.
WATCH: Calls to cease unfold of hate after California synagogue assault
The tricks to an FBI web site and hotline included a hyperlink to the nameless submit however didn’t provide particular details about its creator or the placement of the risk. The bureau mentioned Monday that staff instantly tried to find out who wrote the submit, however the capturing occurred earlier than they may set up his id.
One of many tipsters advised The Related Press that he known as the FBI tip line at 11:15 a.m. Saturday as a result of the submit linked to a manifesto that mentioned the creator was liable for a mosque arson within the metropolis of Escondido final month. He says he discovered on-line that had the mosque assault had occurred and feared the brand new risk was actual.
The tipster, who refused to offer his identify due to safety issues, mentioned the decision with the FBI lasted 4 or 5 minutes and the capturing occurred quickly after. He described the FBI as fast and mentioned he doesn’t know what the bureau might have finished.
The capturing occurred round 11:30 a.m., and Earnest surrendered moments afterward. He’s being held on suspicion of homicide and tried homicide.
The net manifesto written by an individual figuring out himself as John Earnest was an anti-Jewish screed posted about an hour earlier than the assault. The poster described himself as a nursing faculty scholar and praised the suspects accused of finishing up assaults on mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 individuals final month and at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that killed 11 on Oct. 27.
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About 100 congregants have been worshipping when the gunman killed Lori Kaye, 60, and wounded the synagogue’s rabbi, Yishoel Goldstein; Eight-year-old Noya Dahan; and her uncle Almog Peretz.
Goldstein, who misplaced one in all his fingers, mentioned he was making ready for a service and heard a loud sound, rotated and a noticed a younger man sporting sun shades standing in entrance of him with a rifle.
“I couldn’t see his eyes. I couldn’t see his soul,” Goldstein mentioned.
After which, Goldstein mentioned, “miraculously the gun jammed.”
Within the moments that adopted, the rabbi mentioned he wrapped his bloodied hand in a prayer scarf and addressed congregants exterior, vowing to remain sturdy within the face of the lethal assault focusing on his group.
“We’re a Jewish nation that may stand tall. We won’t let anybody take us down. Terrorism like this won’t take us down,” Goldstein recalled telling the group.
Authorities mentioned Earnest had no earlier contact with legislation enforcement and could also be charged with a hate crime along with murder when he’s in court docket later this week. He was being held with out bail.
WATCH: Vigil held for victims of Chabad of Poway synagogue
Police searched Earnest’s home in San Diego and mentioned he additionally was being investigated in reference to the March 24 arson assault on the mosque in close by Escondido.
California State College, San Marcos, confirmed that Earnest was a scholar on the dean’s record.
After the gunman fired quite a few rounds, the AR-type assault weapon might need malfunctioned, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore mentioned. An off-duty Border Patrol agent fired on the shooter as he fled, lacking him however placing the getaway car, the sheriff mentioned.
Earnest known as 911 to report the capturing, and when an officer discovered him on a roadway, he “pulled over, jumped out of his automobile together with his fingers up and was instantly taken into custody,” San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit mentioned.
A funeral for Kaye is deliberate for Monday. The rabbi, who described Kaye as a founding member of the congregation, mentioned the assault might have harmed many extra individuals had the shooter turned towards the sanctuary the place so many have been praying.
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“Lori took the bullet for all of us,” Goldstein mentioned, his fingers wrapped in bandages. “She didn’t should die.”
Associates described Kaye as giving, heat and attentive to group members on their birthdays and after they have been sick. A spouse and mom, she cherished gardening and made scrumptious challah for her household and mates, Roneet Lev mentioned.
When the gunfire erupted, one other worshipper, Shimon Abitbul, mentioned he put his 2-year-old grandson on the ground and waited for a break within the capturing to seize the boy and dash away.
Abitbul, who was visiting from Israel, mentioned he was nonetheless coming to grips with the carnage.
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“All of us are human beings,” he mentioned. “It doesn’t matter in case you are Jews or Christians or Muslims.”
Peretz, a customer from Israel who was wounded within the leg, mentioned he rotated after listening to gunfire and noticed the shooter standing by the door. He grabbed his niece by the hand and carried out one other youngster.
He then noticed a bunch of youngsters and received them operating. “I inform them, ’Go this fashion, go this fashion,” Peretz mentioned.