Trial date set for synagogue shooter

POWAY (KUSI) – A judge ordered the man accused of opening fire on worshipers in a Poway synagogue to stand trial.

It was another emotional day in court where victims had to relive the events that happened at the “Chabad of Poway” on the last day of Passover in April.

John T. Earnest is set to be arraigned on October third, but today in court KUSI heard from another victim who is praised with saving the lives of his niece and 10 to 20 other children.

Almog Peretz and his 8-year-old niece Noyah were both injured when gunfire erupted.  He took the stand and re-told those terrifying moments.

Cameras captured a very different John T. Earnest today in court, who appeared to sit somberly, showing no emotion after he was seen making hand gestures to the courtroom yesterday.

Calls released during the first day of the preliminary hearing were followed with today’s testimony from 34-year-old Peretz.

“I lifted the young girl and I started running toward the door and bullets were flying in my area close to me,” says Peretz through a Hebrew translator. “I yelled to all the kids … and I ran with [them] to Rabbi Mendi’s house.”

After the children were safe, Peretz says he didn’t know he was injured until he returned to the synagogue and saw blood on his jeans.

60-year-old Lori Kaye died that day.  Video surveillance footage shows another congregate, Oscar Stewart, running towards the gunman moments after he opened fire.  He also took the stand today calling the scene “chaos.”

Peretz’s attorney Yoni Weinberg says his client is undergoing treatment for PTSD and the events have forever changed his life.  “He’s always looking for the next John Earnest no matter where he is,” says Weinberg. “Because if it can happen at a peaceful place like a synagogue then it can happen anywhere.”

Peretz is seeking justice for himself and all those whose lives were ended or altered that day.

Categories: California News