An 'open letter' possibly connected to the California synagogue shooting suspect was an anti-Semitic screed

  • Authorities identified the California synagogue shooting suspect as 19-year-old John Earnest, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said Saturday.
  • The shooting left one woman dead, and three others injured at the Chabad of Poway synagogue.
  • An “open letter” detailing the author’s hatred for Jews circulated online, attributed to “John T. Earnest,” though authorities have not explicitly stated the manifesto was written by a suspect of that name.
  • The San Diego County Sheriff told reporters at a press conference they are investigating the open letter and social-media posts believed to be connected to the suspect.

A hateful manifesto circulated online Saturday afternoon, following a shooting at a California synagogue that left one woman dead and three others injured.

The “open letter” was attributed to a user named “John T. Earnest,” the same name as the 19-year-old shooting suspect currently in police custody, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore confirmed Saturday.

In a post on fringe message board 8chan, a user linking to the manifesto and a now-locked Facebook profile wrote, “It’s been real dudes. From the bottom of my heart thank you for everything.”

At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Gore said “we have copies of his social media posts and his open letter,” referring to the manifesto that was circulating online.

Gore also said they’re investigating Earnest in connection with the burning of a nearby mosque last month. The author of the open letter that circulated online also boasted of burning an Escondido mosque and never getting caught.

Read more:
1 dead, 3 injured after California synagogue shooting that the local mayor is calling a ‘hate crime’

The eight-page manifesto outlines the author’s hatred for Jewish people and intent to defend what he describes as his European lineage.

The manifesto also mentions Brenton Tarrant as the author’s inspiration for the attack. Tarrant is the suspected gunman who has been charged with killing 50 people at a New Zealand mosque last month while livestreaming on Facebook.

The open letter bears strong similarities to a manifesto written by Tarrant before the New Zealand shooting.

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