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Correction: Synagogue Shooting-California story

Published

POWAY, Calif. (AP) — In versions of a story April 28-30 about a shooting at a California synagogue, The Associated Press misspelled the first name of the wounded rabbi. It is Yisroel, not Yishoel.

A corrected version of the story is below:

FBI got tips minutes before California synagogue attack

The FBI said it got tips about a social media post threatening violence against Jews just minutes before a gunman opened fire at a Southern California synagogue

By ELLIOT SPAGAT and JULIE WATSON

Associated Press

POWAY, Calif. (AP) — The FBI said it got tips about a social media post threatening violence against Jews just minutes before a gunman killed a worshipper and wounded three others at a Southern California synagogue — an attack that makes him "part of the history of evil that has been perpetrated on Jewish people for centuries," the suspect's family said Monday.

The tips to an FBI website and hotline included a link to the anonymous post but did not offer specific information about its author or the location of the threat. The bureau said employees immediately tried to determine who wrote it, but the shooting occurred before they could establish his identity.

John T. Earnest, 19, was charged with murder and attempted murder in Saturday's attack as well as arson in connection with a nearby mosque fire last month. He was expected in court Tuesday.

His parents said their son and five siblings were raised in a family that "rejected hate and taught that love must be the motive for everything we do." They said they were shocked and mystified.

"Our son's actions were informed by people we do not know, and ideas we do not hold," the family said in its first public comments.

They said they were cooperating with investigators to help "uncover many details of the path that he took to this evil and despicable act." They do not plan to provide their son with legal representation, according to their attorney, Earll Potts. A public defender will likely be appointed.

Earnest burst into the Chabad of Poway synagogue Saturday on the last day of Passover, a major Jewish holiday that celebrates freedom, and opened fire with an assault-style rifle on the crowd of about 100.

Lori Kaye, a founding member of the congregation, was killed. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein was shot in the hand, while Noya Dahan, 8, and her uncle Almog Peretz suffered shrapnel wounds.

Kaye, 60, was remembered for her kindness Monday at a memorial service at the packed synagogue in Poway, a well-to-do suburb north of San Diego.

Earnest fled when the gun jammed, calling 911 to report the shooting and surrendering a short time later, authorities said.

He was a star scholar, athlete and pianist whose embrace of white supremacy and anti-Semitism has dumbfounded the people closest to him.

Earnest made the dean's list both semesters last year as a nursing student at California State University, San Marcos. In high school, he had stellar grades and swam on the varsity team.

His father, John A. Earnest, is a popular physics teacher at the public high school he attended in San Diego.

Owen Cruise, 20, saw the younger Earnest every day during senior year at Mt. Carmel High School, when they were in calculus and physics together. They were also members of the school's amateur radio club.

Earnest was a nationally recognized pianist who brought audiences to their feet when he played at talent shows, Cruise said. He did a rendition of "Pirates of the Caribbean" and played Chopin and Beethoven.

"Crowds would be cheering his name," Cruise said Monday. "Everybody loved him."

Earnest showed no signs of harboring dark thoughts or racist views, Cruise said, adding that he had friends who were Jewish and black.

"He was very close to his dad," Cruise said. "He always hung out in his classroom, came to see him at lunch. He always seemed like a nice guy. ... He didn't seem like the type of person who would go off the deep end."

His father worked at the school for 31 years and volunteered to help students with exams and homework, said Cruise, who praises his former teacher for having a big impact on his life. On the morning of the shooting, the elder Earnest was hosting a study hour for the Advanced Placement exam and brought cookies, Cruise said.

Cruise, now a sophomore at the University of California, San Diego, said Earnest lived at home and saw his parents every day.

"They only raised him to be the best man he could be," Cruise said.

A tipster told The Associated Press that he called the FBI tip line at 11:15 a.m. Saturday because the post linked to a manifesto that said the author was responsible for the mosque arson in Escondido. He says he found online that had the mosque attack had happened and feared the new threat was real.

The online manifesto, written by a person identifying himself as John Earnest, was an anti-Jewish screed that praised the suspects accused of carrying out attacks on mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people last month and at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue that killed 11 on Oct. 27.

The tipster, who refused to provide his name because of security concerns, said the call with the FBI lasted four or five minutes and the shooting happened soon afterward. He described the FBI as quick and professional and said he doesn't know what the bureau could have done.

The shooting happened around 11:30 a.m. Earnest's gun jammed and an off-duty Border Patrol agent fired at him as he fled, missing him but striking the getaway vehicle, authorities said.

Oscar Stewart, an Army combat veteran, rushed the suspect just before the agent opened fire, authorities said.

"This is an evil person whose religion is hate," Stewart, 51, told KGTV in San Diego.

___

Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo in Washington, R.J. Rico in Atlanta and Amy Taxin in Poway contributed to this report.

Two people hug as another talks to a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy outside of the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Saturday, April 27, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Two people hug as another talks to a San Diego County Sheriff's deputy outside of the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Saturday, April 27, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein speaks at a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein speaks at a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Oscar Stewart, center, is hugged by Steve Vaus, right, the mayor of Poway, Calif., Monday, April 29, 2019, as they stand near a photo of Lori Kaye, during Kaye's funeral in Poway Calif. Stewart was worshipping at the synagogue Saturday when a gunman opened fire, killing Kaye. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Oscar Stewart, center, is hugged by Steve Vaus, right, the mayor of Poway, Calif., Monday, April 29, 2019, as they stand near a photo of Lori Kaye, during Kaye's funeral in Poway Calif. Stewart was worshipping at the synagogue Saturday when a gunman opened fire, killing Kaye. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
A group organized by Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence holds a rally in Squirrel Hill, Sunday, April 28, 2019. It was six months yesterday that a gunman shot and killed 11 people while they worshipped at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
A group organized by Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence holds a rally in Squirrel Hill, Sunday, April 28, 2019. It was six months yesterday that a gunman shot and killed 11 people while they worshipped at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Ali De Leon pauses at a growing memorial with her son Leo and her dog Vinny across the street from the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., on Monday, April 29, 2019. A gunman opened fire on Saturday, April 27 at the synagogue as dozens of people were worshipping exactly six months after a mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue. (AP Photo/Greg Bull)
Ali De Leon pauses at a growing memorial with her son Leo and her dog Vinny across the street from the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., on Monday, April 29, 2019. A gunman opened fire on Saturday, April 27 at the synagogue as dozens of people were worshipping exactly six months after a mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue. (AP Photo/Greg Bull)
Noya Dahan, 8, rides on the shoulders of her father, Israel Dahan, at a candlelight vigil held for victims of the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. Noya Dahan was injured in the attack. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Noya Dahan, 8, rides on the shoulders of her father, Israel Dahan, at a candlelight vigil held for victims of the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. Noya Dahan was injured in the attack. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Heavily armed San Diego police officers approach a house thought to be the home of 19 year-old John T. Earnest, who is a suspect in the shooting of several people in a Poway synagogue, on Saturday, April 27, 2019, in San Diego, Calif. A gunman used an AR-type assault weapon to shoot worshippers at Chabad of Poway, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said. (John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)
Heavily armed San Diego police officers approach a house thought to be the home of 19 year-old John T. Earnest, who is a suspect in the shooting of several people in a Poway synagogue, on Saturday, April 27, 2019, in San Diego, Calif. A gunman used an AR-type assault weapon to shoot worshippers at Chabad of Poway, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said. (John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)
Attendees at the funeral for Lori Kaye, who was killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., pass by a photo of Kaye, Monday, April 29, 2019 inside the synagogue. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Attendees at the funeral for Lori Kaye, who was killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., pass by a photo of Kaye, Monday, April 29, 2019 inside the synagogue. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Lori Hausman, right, and daughter Josie, 9, attend a rally organized by Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on Sunday, April 28, 2019. It was six months yesterday that a gunman shot and killed 11 people while they worshipped at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Lori Hausman, right, and daughter Josie, 9, attend a rally organized by Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on Sunday, April 28, 2019. It was six months yesterday that a gunman shot and killed 11 people while they worshipped at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein speaks at a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein speaks at a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, right, is hugged by Stephen Lee as he arrives for a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, right, is hugged by Stephen Lee as he arrives for a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
A group organized by Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence marches in Squirrel Hill, Sunday, April 28, 2019. It was six months yesterday that a gunman shot and killed 11 people while they worshipped at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
A group organized by Squirrel Hill Stands Against Gun Violence marches in Squirrel Hill, Sunday, April 28, 2019. It was six months yesterday that a gunman shot and killed 11 people while they worshipped at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
A couple embrace near a growing memorial across the street from the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., on Monday,, April 29, 2019. A 19-year-old gunman opened fire on Saturday as about 100 people were worshipping exactly six months after a mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing one and injuring more. (AP Photo/Greg Bull)
A couple embrace near a growing memorial across the street from the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., on Monday,, April 29, 2019. A 19-year-old gunman opened fire on Saturday as about 100 people were worshipping exactly six months after a mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue, killing one and injuring more. (AP Photo/Greg Bull)
CORRECTS SPELLING OF RABBI'S FIRST NAME TO YISROEL INSTEAD OF YISHOEL - Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, right, comforts Almog Peretz, center, Monday, April 29, 2019, as they attend the funeral for Lori Kaye, who was killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif. Goldstein lost a finger in the shooting, and Peretz was also injured. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
CORRECTS SPELLING OF RABBI'S FIRST NAME TO YISROEL INSTEAD OF YISHOEL - Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, right, comforts Almog Peretz, center, Monday, April 29, 2019, as they attend the funeral for Lori Kaye, who was killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif. Goldstein lost a finger in the shooting, and Peretz was also injured. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Christy Wilkenson wipes a tear from her eye after putting flowers on a memorial at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Christy Wilkenson wipes a tear from her eye after putting flowers on a memorial at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
CORRECTS SPELLING OF RABBI'S FIRST NAME TO YISROEL INSTEAD OF YISHOEL - Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, center, hugs an attendee at the funeral for Lori Kaye, who was killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., Monday, April 29, 2019. Goldstein lost a finger in the shooting. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
CORRECTS SPELLING OF RABBI'S FIRST NAME TO YISROEL INSTEAD OF YISHOEL - Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, center, hugs an attendee at the funeral for Lori Kaye, who was killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., Monday, April 29, 2019. Goldstein lost a finger in the shooting. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, right, speaks at a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, right, speaks at a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, center, arrives for a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, center, arrives for a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Members of the congregation applaud as Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein arrives at a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Members of the congregation applaud as Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein arrives at a news conference at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
People gathering on a street corner hold signs in support of the victims of the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
People gathering on a street corner hold signs in support of the victims of the Chabad of Poway synagogue shooting, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
A woman leaves flowers on a growing memorial across the street from the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., on Monday, April 29, 2019. A gunman opened fire on Saturday, April 27 as dozens of people were worshipping exactly six months after a mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue. (AP Photo/Greg Bull)
A woman leaves flowers on a growing memorial across the street from the Chabad of Poway synagogue in Poway, Calif., on Monday, April 29, 2019. A gunman opened fire on Saturday, April 27 as dozens of people were worshipping exactly six months after a mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue. (AP Photo/Greg Bull)
Members of the St. John of Damascus Orthodox Church bring flowers to a memorial at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Members of the St. John of Damascus Orthodox Church bring flowers to a memorial at the Chabad of Poway synagogue, Sunday, April 28, 2019, in Poway, Calif. A man opened fire Saturday inside the synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of a major Jewish holiday. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)
Candles burn, Monday, April 29, 2019, in front of a photo of Lori Kaye during a memorial service for her in Poway, Calif. Kaye was was killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Candles burn, Monday, April 29, 2019, in front of a photo of Lori Kaye during a memorial service for her in Poway, Calif. Kaye was was killed Saturday when a gunman opened fire inside the Chabad of Poway synagogue. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)