A 19-year-old man suspected of carrying out the deadly shooting at a San Diego-area synagogue on Saturday appears to have published an antisemitic and anti-Trump manifesto online, according to several reports.
The alleged suspect – John T. Earnest – walked into Congregation Chabad in Poway and began opening fire, killing one person and wounding three others, said law enforcement. A girl and two men were wounded as the Jewish congregation gathered for Passover, a weeklong commemoration of the deliverance of the ancient Hebrews from slavery in Egypt. The three were in stable condition, authorities said.
An off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent inside the building shot at Earnest as he fled the scene. The suspect ran down the street and was later taken into custody shortly after calling the police to say he had shot up the Jewish house of worship. Earnest is believed to have used an AR-type assault weapon. There were indications that the gun might have malfunctioned after firing numerous rounds inside the synagogue, said San Diego County Sheriff William Gore. He said the shooting is being investigated as a homicide, while officials are evaluating possible violations of state hate crime statutes.
“A user self-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,” according to NBC News.
CNN reports it has read the open letter posted to 8chan, in which “identifying as 19-year-old John Earnest references killing Jewish people without making actual reference to Poway or the synagogue involved in the shooting.”
“In the open letter, Earnest talks about planning the attack and references other attacks on houses of worship, including the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh as well the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. Earnest also talks about his disdain for Jews and claims responsibility for a mosque fire in Escondido a week and a half after the attacks in Christchurch,” CNN reports.
According to the Jerusalem Post, the manifesto’s author decries “international Jewry” for “sealing the doom” of the “European race” and goes on to accuse Jews of a litany of wrongdoings, including exerting inordinate power over the economy and media. The manifesto also blames Jews for their so-called “role” in the propagation of Marxism and pornography. Further, the author blames Jews for what he describes as the “persecution of Christians,” including the killing of Jesus Christ and prophets such as Isaiah and Jeremiah.
“Every Jew young and old has contributed to these. For these crimes they deserve nothing but hell. I will send them there,” the post reads.
“Make sure to call me a ‘white supremacist’ and ‘anti-semite’ or whatever bullshit you spew to spook the normalfags,” another part reads. “It doesn’t even matter. You’ve been calling every White person alive those names for decades—they’ve lost all their meaning.”
The manifesto also includes a “lightning round” — a question and answer section in which Earnest discusses his hatred of President Donald Trump and reveals he is inspired by Adolf Hitler, Tree of Life Synagogue shooter Robert Bowers, and New Zealand mosque gunman Brenton Tarrant.
NBC News further reported: “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.”
“Are you a Trump supporter?” one question reads. “You mean that Zionist, Jew-loving, anti-White, traitorous cocksucker? Don’t make me laugh,” the answer says.
Another question asks if the author is a “conservative?” The answer states:
I am not a useless, spineless coward so no—I am not a conservative. Conservative is a misnomer. They conserve nothing. They’ll complain all they want but they won’t take up arms and threaten their government with death (the only thing that works). Ever heard about the Battle of Athens (1946)? Find your balls again you insufferable faggots. If you do not defend your rights you deserve none.
Earnest has no criminal record, but investigators were looking into a claim he made in the manifesto about setting a fire at a mosque in nearby Escondido last month. “I scorched a mosque in Escondido with gasoline a week after” the New Zealand mosque attack shootings, wrote Earnest per the Los Angeles Times, adding that the people inside “woke up and put out the fire pretty much immediately after I drove away which was unfortunate.”
President Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and other lawmakers condemned the shooting, which took place exactly six months since 11 people were killed at a Pittsburgh synagogue in the deadliest assault on Jews in U.S. history. “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!” the president tweeted.