One woman dead, three injured, after shooting at Congregation Chabad of Poway, 19-year-old man in custody

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POWAY (KUSI) – As many as four people were shot — and at least one was killed — at a synagogue in Poway Saturday morning, and the suspected shooter was in custody.

Police have identified the suspect at John T. Earnest, 19 of San Diego. One person died in the shooting at Congregation Chabad off Espola Road.

The congregation’s Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein was also reportedly shot in the hand.

The incident began just before 11:30 a.m.

“Be aware of increased law enforcement activity in the 16000 block of Chabad Way as @SDSOPoway Deputies investigate reports of a man with a gun,” the Sheriff’s Department tweeted at 11:53 a.m. Saturday. “Please stay clear of the area and allow deputies to safely do their job. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.”

One person had been detained for questioning as of about 12:30 p.m., the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department tweeted, adding later that the victims were taken to Palomar Medical Center, though deputies still didn’t confirm how many were injured or how serious their injuries were.

Authorities were setting up at a separate location in Rancho Penasquitos, off of Carmel Mountain Road and Freeport Road, as of 1 p.m. San Diego Police Sgt. Ed Zwibel confirmed it was connected to the Poway shooting but said he couldn’t give any more information.

“It’s related to that incident,” he said. “We are assisting at (the Sheriff’s Department’s) request”

The Sheriff’s Department later tweeted the Family Assistance Center will be open at Poway High School to give information to relatives looking for loved ones from the synagogue.

The synagogue’s Children’s Program would have been underway about the time of the shooting, according to the congregation’s website.

Saturday is the final day of Passover.

It is also the six-month anniversary of a shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, in which 11 people were killed.

Mayor of Poway Steve Vaus described the shooting as a hate crime specifically targeting the Jewish community.

San Diego police were conducting increased patrols near local synagogues, an officer said.

The FBI was also investigating the shooting.


Categories: Local San Diego News