Following a shooting at a synagogue in Poway, CA, one person is dead and three others are injured, according to San Diego County authorities, and a suspect is in custody, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. Officers were dispatched around 11:30 a.m. PT, Sgt. Aaron Meleen of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said, following reports of an active shooter.
Poway Mayor Steve Vaus told CNN the synagogue was a target for "someone with hate in their heart...towards our Jewish community and that just will not stand." Vaus also said that members of the congregation engaged the shooter, preventing the tragedy from being "much worse."
The suspect is a 19-year-old man named John T. Earnest, a resident of another San Diego suburb called Rancho Peñasquitos. He posted a letter on the internet that detailed plans for the attack and expressed anti-Semitic attitudes, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The San Diego Sheriff's Office tweeted instructions for separated families to meet at the Family Assistance Center at Poway High. Those wounded were taken to Palomar Medical Center.
The scene is currently safe and it is unknown how many congregants attended today. Saturday was the final day of Passover. David Nisleit, San Diego's chief of police, tweeted that officials would be offering extra patrol at places of worship. There are no known additional threats at this time.
The Los Angeles Police Department tweeted a similar message, advising high visibility patrols at places of worship.
President Donald Trump tweeted his thoughts and prayers, praising law enforcement for a "job well done," after defending his remarks following the Charlottesville, VA showdown between white nationalists and counter-protesters in which Heather Heyer was killed and nationalists were seen chanting, "Jews will not replace us." Trump insisted there were "fine people" on both sides of the protest and just this week insisted he answered the question "perfectly."
Thoughts and prayers to all of those affected by the shooting at the Synagogue in Poway, California. God bless you all. Suspect apprehended. Law enforcement did outstanding job. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2019
This shooting follows a deadly shooting in a Pittsburgh, PA synagogue last October in which the shooter was said to have shouted anti-Semitic slurs.
You can help the victims and survivors of this shooting by donating to their official GoFundMe, along with other resources, including supporting organizations fighting anti-Semitism and supporting gun control.