SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – John T. Earnest, who is accused of killing a woman and injuring three others during a shooting at a Poway synagogue, has been charged with four additional federal counts of discharging a firearm during crimes of violence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
The man previously pleaded not guilty to federal hate crime charges.
Earnest, 19, is charged with bursting into the Chabad of Poway synagogue on April 27 and opening fire with an assault rifle, killing one and injuring three.
A federal affidavit detailing the hate crime charges that was filed last week describes a deeply disturbed man filled with hatred toward Jews and Muslims, which are detailed in a manifesto he allegedly published online. Earnest claimed to be inspired by the attacks on the mosques in New Zealand and the shooting at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue last fall, the affidavit said.
Court documents said Earnest dialed 911 after fleeing the synagogue in his car and said: “I just shot up a synagogue.” He went on to tell the dispatcher he did it “because Jewish people are destroying the white race,” according to the affidavit. He was quickly arrested without a struggle.
Earnest has pleaded not guilty to state murder charges in the death of 60-year-old Lori Kaye, who was hit twice as she prayed in the synagogue foyer. Wounded were Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was leading the service, an 8-year-old girl and her uncle.
He also pleaded not guilty to state and federal charges of trying to burn a mosque in the nearby city of Escondido.
Outside the mosque was the scrawled name of the man suspected of carrying out shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people.
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