Friday 23 August 2019

Synagogue killer 'put his anti-Jewish manifesto online' just before attack

Accused: Suspected shooter John Earnest is now in custody
Accused: Suspected shooter John Earnest is now in custody

Julie Allen

A gunman who attacked a synagogue in San Diego, killing a woman, was the apparent author of an online manifesto in which he described himself as a martyr for white people with a hatred of anyone seeking the "destruction" of his race.

The 19-year-old had also claimed responsibility for an arson attack last month on a mosque in Escondido, 15km away.

John T Earnest, a nursing student and son of a retired teacher, surrendered peacefully to police after fleeing the Chabad of Poway synagogue, where he opened fire as worshippers marked the last day of Passover on Saturday.

An hour before the attack, a person identifying themselves as Earnest posted an anti-Semitic letter to several online forums, writing: "I would die a thousand times over to prevent the doomed fate that the Jews have planned for my race... I feel no remorse. I only wish I killed more. I am honoured to be the one to send these vile anti-humans into the pit of fire where they shall remain for eternity."

The writer also shared his admiration for perpetrators of mass shootings including the gunman who killed 11 at a Pittsburgh synagogue six months ago and the Christchurch mosque killer.

He described himself as "just a normal dude who wanted to have a family, help and heal people, and play piano".

The murdered woman was named as Lori Kaye, a 60-year-old mother of one who reportedly threw herself in front of Yisroel Goldstein, the ­synagogue's founding rabbi, who was wounded in both hands.

He said: "He was holding the rifle and walking straight at me. As soon as he saw me he started to shoot. That's when I put my hands up and my fingers got blown away, and then he continued on and killed Lori Kaye."

Roneet Lev, her close friend, said: "She didn't die a senselessness death. She died advertising the problem we have with anti-Semitism and to bring good to this world."

Also wounded was eight-year-old Noya Dahan, who was hit with shrapnel in the face and leg, and her uncle, Almong Peretz (34), who was shot in the leg as he ushered children to safety.

The worshippers were about 20 minutes into the service when the gunman walked in. Witnesses said he was dressed in a military vest, wore glasses, and carried an assault rifle.

Some said he was shouting obscenities, with one US news outlet reporting that he screamed: "F*** the Jews." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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