A shooting at the Chabad of Poway in California left one dead and three wounded Saturday.  The suspect, 19-year-old San Diego resident John Earnest, is in custody.  He is reported to have posted an anti-Semitic, anti-Trump manifesto online and is being investigated in connection to a Mosque arson, as well.

The shooter walked into the synagogue on Saturday morning at around 11 a.m. and began shooting.  The rabbi, himself shot in the hand, worked to calm his terrified congregants throughout the horrific onslaught.

Reuters reports:

A 19-year-old man who authorities said gave himself up to police shortly after carrying out a deadly shooting in a Southern California synagogue filled with Sabbath worshippers is also under investigation in connection with an unsolved mosque arson.

The gunman walked into the suburban San Diego synagogue late Saturday morning, the last day of the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover, and opened fire with an assault-style rifle, killing one woman inside and wounding three others, including the rabbi, authorities said.

He then sped away in a car, escaping an off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent who shot at the getaway vehicle but missed the suspect, but the suspect pulled over and surrendered to police officers a short time later.

. . . . San Diego County Sheriff’s Department officials issued a statement saying the gunman in Saturday’s attack was believed to have acted alone and that there “are no known threats to religious gatherings.”

The LA Times has more:

The rabbi was celebrating the last day of Passover with his congregants at Chabad of Poway when a gunman in a green army-style vest, armed with a semiautomatic weapon, burst in and began shooting.

Voices screeched, “Hide yourself! Shooting! Shooting!” Congregants dropped to the floor. One man threw his body over his 2½-year-old grandson; another was wounded ushering children to safety.

A 60-year-old woman was killed when she jumped in front of the rabbi, whose hands were pierced by gunfire. An 8-year-old girl was hit with shrapnel in the face and leg.

The attack was described by some of the 100 worshipers who were inside the synagogue celebrating one of the most sacred holidays in Judaism. As police across the state boosted patrols around synagogues, the small city of Poway’s tightknit Jewish community was reeling.

The victims have been identified as follows via Fox News:

A Jewish leader has identified the victims of a shooting at a synagogue in a suburb of San Diego.

Rabbi Yonah Fradkin, executive director of Chabad of San Diego County, says in a statement that Lori Kaye, 60, of Poway was killed. He says those injured in the shooting Saturday were Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Noya Dahan, 8, Almog Peretz, 34.

“In the face of senseless hate we commit to live proudly as Jews in this glorious country,” Fradkin said. “We strongly believe that love is exponentially more powerful than hate. We are deeply shaken by the loss of a true woman of valor, Lori Kaye, who lost her life solely for living as a Jew.”

Audrey Jacobs has written a moving tribute to deceased victim Lori Kaye.

Today an anti-Semitic hate crime shot and killed my friend Lori Gilbert Kaye z”l while she was praying in synagogue. Lori you were a jewel of our community a true Eshet Chayil, a Woman of Valor. You were always running to do a mitzvah (good deed) and generously gave tzedaka (charity) to everyone. Your final good deed was jumping in front of Rabbi Mendel Goldstein to take the bullet and save his life.

Your life was defined by your good deeds. Lori leaves behind a devastated husband and 22-year-old daughter. . . .

The shooting is being investigated as a possible hate crime, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sheriff Gore said the suspect had no prior arrests, but he is currently also being investigated in connection to a fire at a mosque in Escondido last month.

Sheriff Gore said officials are investigating a manifesto shared by Mr. Earnest on social media. The purported document, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, is filled with anti-Semitic sentiment and refers to numerous old tropes that have long fueled oppression of Jews. It also includes references to the shooter in the New Zealand mosque massacre last month as well as what Mr. Earnest claims is his own failed attempt to set the Escondido mosque on fire last month.

The alleged shooter’s manifesto reportedly reflects his disdain for President Trump, whom he does not support because Trump is, and has reaffirmed the United States’ position as, a staunch ally of Israel.

CBS News reports:

An anti-Semitic open letter posted under the name of a man suspected of opening fire at a synagogue near San Diego Saturday was left on a far-right message board hours before the attack.

. . . . A user identifying himself as John Earnest posted a white nationalist open letter to the far-right message board 8chan. He also used the username “JohnTEarnest” to post the letter on a document hosting site.

. . . .  The link to the anti-Semitic note was put online shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday and posted to 8chan, along with a link to a Facebook page and says “a livestream will begin shortly.”

There is no active link to a livestream on his Facebook page. The post also includes a link of songs the poster planned to play during the stream.

. . . .  The attached note is similar in both format and tone to the one written by Tarrant, who killed 50 people last month. Tarrant and Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers are listed as a direct inspiration in the letter, which is riddled with almost exclusively anti-Semitic tropes and advocacy for white supremacy.

The letter claims the shooter began planning his attack shortly after Tarrant’s attack. Like Tarrant’s post, it follows a question-and-answer format.

The shooter claims in the Q-and-A section to eschew political ideology, saying he does not support Donald Trump because of his support for Israel. The writer also complains that conservatives aren’t violent enough in support of their politics.

Having just written about the New York Times’ horrific anti-Semitic cartoon on Saturday, it’s hard for me not to see how the left’s mainstreaming of virulent anti-Semitism feeds this type of evil.  I’m not alone.

Prime Minister Netanyahu condemned the attack.

Anti-Semitism is on the rise and becoming mainstreamed in horrifying ways.  This cannot stand, and whether it takes place on the left or on the far right, we must call it what it is: evil.

[Featured image via YouTube]


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.