Poway Synagogue Shooting

Governor Wolf Joins Pittsburgh in Mourning After Tragic Shooting in the Tree of Life Synagogue last October

via Wikimedia Commons

Governor Wolf Joins Pittsburgh in Mourning After Tragic Shooting in the Tree of Life Synagogue last October

eOn Satuday, April 28th, an act of terror and not terrorism took place. In Poway, California, there was a deadly shooting at a local synagogue. Jewish worshippers and bystanders were simply gathering for the last day of Passover when the tragedy struck. Police have identified the shooter as nineteen-year-old, John T. Earnst, who turned himself in shortly after the attack had taken place.

Earnst, who carried an AR-15 with him during his attack, killed one person and injured three others. Lori Kaye, one of the founding members of the congregation, was shot twice and killed as she tried to protect the rabbi. Rabbi Yishroel was shot in the hand, an eight-year-old named Noya Dahan and her uncle Almog Peretz suffered shrapnel wounds. John Earnst’s act of violence shocked everyone as he was an up and coming athlete, beautiful pianist, and scholar that was on the dean list both of his semesters at California State University, San Marcos.

Heartbroken family members and close friends to those who lost their lives during the moment of violence couldn’t contain their tears as they attended the funeral. With all the news and the public talking, John Earnst’s parents finally broke their silence. They said that they were saddened and shocked by John’s actions, as he was raised in a family that rejected hate and only taught love. To end, they concluded with, “To our great shame, he is now part of the history of evil that has been perpetrated on Jewish people for centuries.”

Earnst was taken into custody quickly and appeared in court at the San Diego Superior Court on Tuesday. He is being charged with murder, attempted murder, and arson as he was convicted with a mosque fire nearby from last month. Prosecutors are using the evidence that Earnst opened fire in a Synagogue in Southern California, while wearing a tactical vest, helmet and held 50 bullets that were unfired when he was arrested. San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan also pleaded with the fact that he also injured three others with a however legal, open firearm. Earnst pleaded not guilty at his first court hearing.

The Chabad of Poway synagogue has laid Lori Kayne to rest. Kayne is remembered as a kind and loving person as she did a lot for her community, to help others. Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein praised her bravery and caring heart for saving his life. He said, “We will salute Lori and her life and keep her legacy alive, a legacy of goodness and kindness.” Along with her wonderful legacy, Kayne also left behind her husband and daughter that survived the attack.