Family of Poway Synagogue Shooter Speaks

Family of Poway, San Diego synagogue shooter says that the 19-year-old college student is 'now part of the history of evil that has been perpetrated on Jewish people for centuries'

Saturday, John Earnest, a student at California State University, San Marcos, allegedly shot and killed Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, and injured three others, Noya Dohan, 8, and her uncle Almog Peretz, 34, and Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein at Chabad of Poway, on the last day of Passover.

Someone, stating that they were a 19-year-old nursing student and native of California, posted a 4,000-word manifesto online before the attack and stated that they were inspired by the Christchurch attack in New Zealand and also claimed that he/she was the one who tried to burn down the Dar-ul-Arqam mosque in Escondido last month where someone spray painted 'For Brenton Tarrant' on the parking lot wall. The person said that he/she was being a 'good Christian' and said, 'My God understands why I did what I did,'

His family claim that he was motivated by 'people we do not know, and ideas we do not hold' and that his family rejects hate and is a family of faith. They continued to say, 'We are shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue. But our sadness pales in comparison to the grief and anguish our son has caused for so many innocent people,' They added, 'To our great shame, he is now part of the history of evil that has been perpetrated on Jewish people for centuries.'

Here's the full statement from Earnest's family:

STATEMENT FROM THE FAMILY OF JOHN T. EARNEST We are shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue. But our sadness pales in comparison to the grief and anguish our son has caused for so many innocent people. He has killed and injured the faithful who were gathered in a sacred place on a sacred day. To our great shame, he is now part of the history of evil that has been perpetrated on Jewish people for centuries. Our son’s actions were informed by people we do not know, and ideas we do not hold. Like our other five children, he was raised in a family, a faith, and a community that all rejected hate and taught that love must be the motive for everything we do. How our son was attracted to such darkness is a terrifying mystery to us, though we are confident that law enforcement will uncover many details of the path that he took to this evil and despicable act. To that end, our family is cooperating with investigators. We ask only that the media and the public respect our privacy and allow the criminal justice system to work. Our heavy hearts will forever go out to the victims and survivors. Our thanks go to the first responders who prevented even greater loss of life and the well-wishers who have supported us. And we pray for peace.

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