Poway Synagogue Shooting

Adrianna Adame, Assistant Opinion Editor

The alleged gunman of the Chabad of Poway shooting on Saturday, April 27, is a CSUSM student, according to a statement by President Karen Haynes.

John T. Earnest, the alleged gunman, is accused of killing a woman and injuring three others, including an eight-year-old girl and a rabbi during a Passover service, according to San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore.

Reacting to the shooting, Haynes wrote, “We are dismayed and disheartened that the alleged shooter – now in custody – is a CSUSM student. CSUSM is working collaboratively with the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department to assist and gain more information.

At around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, the suspect, 19-year-old Earnest, allegedly began shooting at members of the Chabad of Poway with an assault-type rifle during a Passover service, according to a press release from the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

National Public Radio reported that “Authorities are reviewing the suspect’s digital media posts and a statement he purportedly wrote. They are also investigating whether he is connected to arson at a mosque in a nearby city.”

Currently, “The shooting is being investigated as a homicide, hate crime and federal civil rights violation.” according to NPR.

The Escondido Police reported that someone had attempted to burn down the Dar-ul-Arqam Mosque on March 24. The blaze was extinguished with a fire extinguisher.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department release said that authorities are currently “interviewing approximately 100 people who were victims and witnesses to the shooting that occurred at the Chabad of Poway.”

Earnest was chased out of the synagogue by 51-year-old Oscar Stewart and an armed border patrol agent, both people attending the morning service, until he was eventually arrested by authorities near Rancho Bernardo Road and Interstate 15, according to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

According to ABC 10 News reported that Earnest is to appear in court on Wednesday, May 1.

President Haynes said, “We extend our deepest condolences to all of the victims, their families, friends and our entire community. We share your grief.”

Haynes also said that “As a university community we know that our diversity make us stronger. Today’s reprehensible actions do not define us.”