Synagogue Shooting Suspect Officially Charged; Police Believe He Acted Alone


POWAY, California — Detectives from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department along with members of several local, state and federal agencies have been working throughout the night, interviewing over 100 people who were victims and witnesses to the shooting that occurred at the Chabad of Poway.

One person was killed and three others were wounded in the shooting. They were all rushed to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido. A rabbi underwent surgery after suffering gunshot wounds to his hands. A 34-year-old man and a child were hit by shrapnel from bullets. Doctors say they are doing well. The child has since been transferred to Rady Children’s Hospital.

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Detectives served several search warrants and processed the crime scene at the synagogue, as well as the suspect’s home in San Diego and his vehicle. The investigation is ongoing.

The suspect, 19-year-old John T. Earnest, was booked into custody on one count of murder in the first degree and three counts of attempted murder in the first degree. Police say there is no indication that Earnest was part of an organized group. Investigators believe he acted alone and without outside support in carrying out the attack.

Oscar Stewart, who is fifty-one-years-old and resides in Rancho Bernardo, rushed at the shooting suspect, chasing after the suspect as he fled the synagogue to a vehicle parked nearby. Stewart caught up to the vehicle as the suspect was about tovdrive away. While Stewart was near the vehicle, an off-duty Border Patrol Agent caught up to the vehicle and yelled for Stewart to get out of the way. The Border Patrol Agent then fired a weapon in the suspect’s direction striking the vehicle as it drove away.

The suspect was not hit; however, a bullet hit the vehicle. Officers from the San Diego Police Department arrested the shooter nearv Rancho Bernardo Road and Interstate 15 in Rancho Bernardo. He was taken into custody without incident.

Police say Stewart risked his life to stop the shooter and saved lives in the process.

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