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Updated 3:45 p.m. with information from the Sheriff's press conference and comments from Poway Mayor Steve Vaus

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2019 (Poway, CA)--An older woman has died and three others were injured in a shooting  today at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sheriff Gore confirmed in a news conference this afternoon.  The attack occurred during a Passover celebration.

ECM news partner 10 News reports that  Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, suffered a hand injury. Two men and a 10-year-old girl were also injured with shrapnel wounds; all are in stable condition and expected to recover. 

A white male, 19, from San Diego is in custody after he called authorities to surrender. He used an AR-type assault weapon, according to Sheriff Gore. He was arrested in nearby Rancho San Diego.  No motive has yet been disclosed.

NBC 7 reports that multiple sources confirm the suspect is John T. Earnest, who published a manifesto at 10 a.m. on Reddit threatening to live-stream the shooting in Poway. In a rant filled with racist remarks and Bible quotes, he also claimed credit for arson at an Escondido mosque a month ago. The killer stated that he was inspired by the recent deadly attack on a New Zeland mosque and by shootings at a Pittsburgh synagogue last year.

The Sheriff's office reported shortly after noon that it was investigating reports of a man with a gun in the vicinity of the synagogue in the 16000 block of Chabad Way. The Sheriff's Poway office later confirmed injuries. 

Photo, right: Sheriff Gore and Mayor Vaus at press conference

The Sheriff's department confirms it will also increase security at other houses of worship during the Jewish holiday. 

In addition, the Sheriff posted on Twitter, "Please respect the medical privacy of victims & their families during this difficult time. Remain clear of the area as this investigation will take several hours."

The following road closures through tomorrow morning Sunday, April 28th: Eastbound Espola Road at Summerfield Lane Westbound Espola Road at Avenida Florencia.

Poway Mayor Steve Vaus has said that the congregation was targeted by "someone with hate in their heart ... towards our Jewish community and that just will not stand," CNN reports."I also understand from folks on the scene that this shooter was engaged by people in the congregation and those brave people certainly prevented this from being a much worse tragedy."
Vauss indicated that President Donald Trump, who is visitng in nearby Imperial County today, called to offer support after hearing of the shooting. On Twitter, Trump tweeted praise for law enforcement and offered "thoughts and prayers" for all affected by the shooting.
Vaus, also a candidate for County Supervisor, has called the shootings a "hate crime," also posting on Twitter, "Hate has no place in ANY community... least of all Poway. We will put our arms around each other and walk through this tragedy as the family we have always been and always will be."
A family assistance center was set up at Poway High School shortly after the incident, but has since closed.  
The FBI is assisting in the investigation. 


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This is so sad. Hate, racism and violence is becoming more and more common every year it seems.