Man Arrested For Poway Synagogue Shooting Charged With Murder
(JTA) — The alleged gunman in the attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego was charged with murder.
The gunman, 19, was charged on Sunday afternoon with one count of Murder in the First Degree, and three counts of Attempted Murder in the First Degree, according to jail records posted on the website of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.
The gunman is not eligible for bail, according to the sheriff’s department. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Wednesday afternoon.
Local officials have accused him of a hate crime. Authorities are working to determine whether it can apply state hate crimes laws to the attack and if he violated federal civil rights laws, the Daily Beast reported.
The gunman, identified as John Earnest, called in the shooting to police after fleeing the scene. He was taken into police custody several blocks from the synagogue, reportedly emerging from his car with his hands in the air. An assault rifle was found in the front seat of the vehicle, as was an action camera, indicating that he had planned to film the synagogue shooting.
Earnest also claims that he set fire to a mosque in Escondido, California, in the weeks after the shooting at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The claim is under investigation.