Synagogue gunman said to have acted alone

Synagogue gunman said to have acted alone

A 19-year-old man accused of opening fire in a deadly shooting at a California synagogue is believed to have acted alone.

Police say the gunman walked into the suburban San Diego synagogue late on Saturday morning, the last day of the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover, and killed one woman and wounded three other people inside, using an assault-style rifle.

According to authorities, the suspect, John Earnest, then fled in a car before calling police to hand himself in.

"We believe he acted alone and without outside support in carrying out the attack," San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said in a statement.

The suspect, who is also under investigation for a mosque arson, has been booked into custody on one count of murder in the first degree and three counts of attempted murder in the first degree, Gore said.

At an emotional news conference on Sunday, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein choked back tears as he spoke of the slain victim, Lori Kaye, whom he had known for 25 years.

"She was a pioneer member from our congregation," he said, his left arm in a sling and his right hand bandaged. "Lori had unconditional love for all."

Goldstein had surgery at a hospital after his right index finger was blown away by the gunman. He recounted how after he saw the carnage, he grabbed a prayer shawl, wrapped it around his bloody hands and addressed the congregation.

"We are a Jewish nation that will stand tall, we will not let anyone or anything take us down – terrorism like this will not take us down," Goldstein said he told the worshippers.

The other two wounded in the attack on the Congregation Chabad temple in the town of Poway, about 23 miles (37 km) north of San Diego, were an 8-year-old Israeli girl and her uncle. Their family had moved to the United States in search of a safer life after their home in Sderot on the Gaza border was hit several times by Palestinian rocket attacks.

The sheriff said they were struck by shrapnel but were "doing well" at a hospital.

Goldstein said U.S. President Donald Trump had called him to offer condolences on behalf of the American people.


Published: by Radio NewsHub
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