1 dead and 3 Wounded in Poway, CA Shooting

On+Saturday+April+27th%2C+2019%2C+members+comfort+each+other+outside+of+the+Synagogue.+

On Saturday April 27th, 2019, members comfort each other outside of the Synagogue.

Jacob Chaimovitch

Towards the end of the Jewish holiday of Passover, on the morning of Saturday, April 27th, 19-year-old John T. Earnest went into the Chabad of Poway with an AR-15 in Poway, CA, a small town just north of San Diego, and killed one as well as injuring three people. One of the people injured, Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, was shot and lost one of his fingers. The person that died, 60-year-old Lori Gilbert Kaye, jumped in front of the Rabbi in order to keep him alive.

This, according to the New York Times, is not the first instance of hate crime and influence that John Earnest has experienced. Officials are investigating a document on a sharing platform called 8chan that might have been the place where a manifesto by Earnest was written. The document is filled with white supremacy messages as well as anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim slurs and phrases. If Earnest did write this manifesto, he said that he was inspired by the mosque shooting in New Zealand as well as the Pittsburgh shooting that happened exactly six months prior. The unconfirmed author of this document also admitted to setting a mosque in Escondido, CA, on fire. Generally speaking, Earnest was described as a quiet and smart kid by his friends and family, so a mental health reasoning would probably be inaccurate.

The Chabad of Poway was more packed than usual; it was the last day of the Jewish holiday of Passover. Kaye, the person that died, was getting ready to say the Mourner’s Kaddish, which is a prayer that remembers those who have died. It was then when Earnest stormed in through the main entrance. After Kaye went down, Rabbi Goldstein tried to reason with the teenager. It was then when he was shot in both hands and lost a finger. After his weapon supposedly malfunctioned, Earnest exited the building and surrendered shortly after. He is being charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder.

In light of this and other events, Senior Ari Cohen has spoken out on the difficulties of being a minority in America. She feels awful that there are attacks on a certain type of person and explains that “There is no need for the hate and I feel like Jews, in particular, have been targeted enough as is.” Cohen, as one of the few Jewish students in SWHS, does think its scary to be Jewish sometimes knowing that “[some] people hate you for who you are” and thinks that the only way to prevent another possible attack is to educate those who have a false view on minorities. Hopefully, the attacks do end sooner rather than later.