My Colleague, Alex Parker, posted here about Saturday’s shooting at Congregation Chabad, a synagogue located in Poway, Ca. The attack left one parishioner dead and three wounded.
According to reports from ABC News and CNN, the suspect, identified as John T. Earnest, published “an anti-Semitic and anti-Trump manifesto online” prior to the attack.
NBC News reported that “A user self-identifying himself (sic) as John Earnest posted a white nationalist open letter to the far-right message board 8chan. He also used the username “JohnTEarnest” to post the letter on a document hosting site.”
CNN reports that in the open letter posted to 8chan, in which “identifying as 19-year-old, John Earnest references killing Jewish people without making actual reference to Poway or the synagogue involved in the shooting.”
In the open letter, Earnest talks about planning the attack and references other attacks on houses of worship, including the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh as well the mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand. Earnest also talks about his disdain for Jews and claims responsibility for a mosque fire in Escondido a week and a half after the attacks in Christchurch.
The suspect wrote:
Every Jew young and old has contributed to these. For these crimes they deserve nothing but hell. I will send them there.
Make sure to call me a ‘white supremacist’ and ‘anti-semite’ or whatever bullshit you spew to spook the normal fags. It doesn’t even matter. You’ve been calling every White person alive those names for decades—they’ve lost all their meaning.
The shooter professes his hatred for President Trump and says he is “inspired by Adolf Hitler, Tree of Life Synagogue shooter Robert Bowers, and New Zealand mosque gunman Brenton Tarrant.”
Earnest also added a question and answer section in which, according to NBC News, “The shooter claims in the Q-and-A section to eschew political ideology, saying he does not support Donald Trump because of his support for Israel. The writer also complains that conservatives aren’t violent enough in support of their politics.”
Another asks if the author is a “conservative?” He writes:
I am not a useless, spineless coward so no—I am not a conservative. Conservative is a misnomer. They conserve nothing. They’ll complain all they want but they won’t take up arms and threaten their government with death (the only thing that works). Ever heard about the Battle of Athens (1946)? Find your balls again you insufferable faggots. If you do not defend your rights you deserve none.
The suspect has no prior criminal record, however, the Los Angeles Times reports that he claims he “scorched a mosque in Escondido with gasoline a week after” the New Zealand mosque attack shootings, but that the worshippers “woke up and put out the fire pretty much immediately after I drove away which was unfortunate.”
A while back, it was debated whether or not the press should report the identities and stories of those who perpetrate these cowardly acts because it is the media attention they seem to crave the most. This idea has a great deal of merit.
Although it will pass quickly, Earnest is certainly receiving his fifteen minutes of fame.
However, the news cycle moves quickly, and soon, everyone will have long forgotten the twisted white supremacist. And this nineteen-year-old will spend the rest of his life languishing in prison reliving his moment of glory.