San Diego Synagogue Shooting

Gunnar Strom, Contributor

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As shootings become more and more common in today’s world, with tragedies occurring left and right, it’s becoming hard to keep up with what’s happening around the world. Recently, there’s been a lot happening overseas, off of American soil, with events like the burning of the Notre Dame Cathedral in France and the bombings at the churches in Sri Lanka, everything in the world seems so far away. But things are starting to move back into the United States now, and not in a good way. Just a couple days ago, an attack was carried out at a Jewish Synagogue in San Diego, California, where unfortunately one person has died.

Just days earlier, the suspect, John Earnest, was said to have been involved in an arson incident at another Synagogue, something he confirmed in his digital manifesto that was seized by police. The manifesto also gave his reasons for killing an innocent woman and injuring three others, including a small child. He was mad at the Jewish people and said that they deserved to die for what they’ve done. He accused the Jewish people of a variety of things, from killing Jesus Christ to controlling the media. In short, he hated the Jewish people and hoped that by attacking a church, he would be glorifying his own God and shaming theirs. At the church that Earnest was a member of, Escondido Orthodox Presbyterian Church in San Diego, the members of his church and the ones he was close to are horrified that John would ever carry out such a horrible act. His family is also shocked by his actions and beliefs and has said that they’re willing to help the victims of Synagogue any way they can.

“We didn’t hear him screaming or saying anything. He was just focused to kill. You saw the hate and the murder in his eyes,” said Danny Almong, a witness; “He had a vest and he had clips in the vest. He was ready. He was ready. He came in to kill.” The gunman entered the building with a rifle and spare ammo, determined to cause mass panic and take out as many of the occupants as possible before he had to flee the scene. Luckily for the occupants of the building, they were not completely defenseless. Army veteran Oscar Stewart and off-duty border patrol agent Jonathan Morales was in the San Diego Synagogue at the time of the shooting and were quick to react. Stewart was in the back of the room when the shots rang out and ran to them in an attempt to stop what was happening. The entire time he was screaming at the gunman, saying things like “Get down!” and “I’m going to kill you!” His tactic clearly worked, and the shooter fled to his car in the parking lot with Stewart hot on his tail. Stewart banged on Earnest’s window until Jonathan Morales showed up with a gun, firing at the car as it sped away. The shooter later turned himself in to police, along with his manifesto and the rifle used to carry out the shooting.

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