The suspect in Saturday’s synagogue shooting near San Diego has been identified as 19-year-old John Earnest.
Earnest painted himself as a martyr for white people and was inspired by last month’s New Zealand mosque massacre, according to a hate-filled open letter posted online.
Authorities said Earnest killed a woman and wounded three people when he opened fire during Passover services at the Chabad of Poway in Poway, Calif.
He was taken into custody following the shooting.
In a document uploaded to pastebin.com Saturday, Earnest states he was a nursing student.
“To my family and friends. I can already hear your voices. ‘How could you throw your life away?’” the manifesto reads. “What value does my life have compared to the entirety of the European race?” the document continues, before launching into an anti-Semitic tirade.
In the manifesto – which was posted to an internet forum and attributed to Earnest – he hates “anyone who seeks the destruction of my race,” the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
He apparently admitted to setting fire to an Escondido mosque and supported the Christchurch, New Zealand, shooter, saying that suspect’s killings of 50 Muslim worshippers last month were an inspiration to him.
The New Zealand suspect “was a catalyst for me personally. He showed me that it could be done. And that it needed to be done,” Earnest states, according to the New York Post.
Also quoted are several passages from the Bible’s New Testament, used to justify his beliefs, along with anti-Semitic remarks, the paper reported.
“My God understands why I did what I did,” the writer says, adding that he planned to stream the shooting on Facebook, just as video was posted of the March 15 New Zealand attack. But a spokesperson for Facebook said no evidence of a video related to the Poway shooting was found.
An account linked in the letter was deleted. the spokesperson said.
If you enjoy the hard work we put in here at Milne News, a donation of any amount will help us continue the great work we do and stay online. Any donation is greatly appreciated:
Thank you for your support.
Get the latest news delivered straight to your inbox for free every day by signing up below.