A 19 year old man is in police custody following a mass shooting in a San Diego area synagogue. Congregation Chabad in the city of Poway, California, was holding services for the last day of Passover when the attack occurred.
The shooting occurred at 11:23 AM PST, with six or seven shots fired. One person, an older woman, died as a result, with two other men and a girl injured.
Authorities have identified the suspected gunman as John T. Earnest, a resident of the San Diego neighborhood of Rancho Penasquitos. He was reportedly shouting statements during the attack which indicate that it was an attack directed against Jews.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune there are other indications that it was a hate crime:
Authorities were reviewing his social media accounts and an “open letter” he reportedly wrote before the attack, which happened at about 11:30 a.m. They were also preparing to search his home in Rancho Penasquitos.
The mayor of Poway, Steve Vaus, responded to questions and indicated that the shooter was chased off after his initial attack.
“I also understand from folks on the scene that this shooter was engaged by people in the congregation and those brave people certainly prevented this from being a much worse tragedy,”CNN
The President tweeted about the attack, after previously informing reporters that it appeared to be a hate crime.
One of the two men shot during the event was a rabbi for the congregation. All three of the surviving victims are listed in stable condition.