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A Synagogue Shooting Near San Diego Left 1 Dead, 3 Injured

A 19-year-old suspect is currently in custody after opening fire during a Passover celebration at a synagogue in Poway, near San Diego, which left one dead and three injured.

The suspect has been identified as John Earnest of San Diego and he appeared to have fired more than 10 rounds before fleeing the synagogue, a law enforcement source told ABC News.

During a news conference, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore said Earnest was armed with an AR-15 style assault weapon and opened fire at the Chabad of Poway synagogue around 11:30 a.m. local time.

The synagogue had a Passover Holiday Celebration scheduled during that time.

A woman was fatally shot and three others — a young girl and two adult men — were injured during the shooting, including the rabbi. According to Buzzfeed News, The four victims had been transported to Palomar Medical Center, where the woman, 60-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye, died as a result of her injuries. The three other victims are currently in stable condition, according to Dr. Michael Katz, a trauma doctor at the medical facility.

Earnest had fled the scene. “There’s indications that his gun might’ve malfunctioned after firing numerous rounds,” Gore said.

An off-duty border patrol agent, who was in the synagogue at the time of the shooting, chased after Earnest as he fled, firing at him and striking his vehicle.

San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said the suspect called law enforcement, notifying them that he had been involved in the shooting and provided them with his location. Earnest was spotted on the freeway and, upon jumping out of his vehicle with his hands up, was taken into custody by a K-9 officer, Nisleit said.

“[The officer] clearly saw a rifle sitting on the front passenger seat of the suspect’s vehicle,” Nisleit said.

Authorities are currently investigating social media posts allegedly linked to the suspect. Per Buzzfeed News, a post was made on the message board 8Chan by an individual claiming to be the shooter shortly before the shooting. The individual said they planned to livestream the shooting on Facebook and shared a manifesto that spoke negatively about Jews. Police are currently reviewing the manifesto.

A Facebook account linked in the post has since been removed. Authorities were not able to confirm if the suspect attempted the livestream the incident, and a Facebook spokesperson said the social media company didn’t find a video associated with the post.

Steve Vaus, the mayor of Poway, tweeted Saturday, writing, “Hate has no place in ANY community…least of all Poway.”

“The Poway I know comes together as we did just a few weeks ago… We always walk with our arms around each other and we will walk through this tragedy with our arms around each other,” Vaus said during the news conference. “We will get through this.”

President Donald Trump offered his condolences to the victims of the shooting and praised law enforcement for their “outstanding job.”

“Thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the shooting at the Synagogue in Poway, California,” Trump tweeted. “God bless you all. Suspect apprehended. Law enforcement did outstanding job. Thank you!”

“America’s heart is with the victims of the horrific synagogue shooting,” Trump said later at a rally. “We forcefully condemn the evil of antisemitism and hate, which must be defeated.”

Nisleit said extra security would be provided at places of worship.

The Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting comes exactly 11 months after the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 people were killed.

Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.