The parents of the man accused of opening fire inside a synagogue near San Diego said their son is “now part of the history of evil” perpetrated against the Jewish people.
The parents of 19-year-old John T. Earnest said in a statement on Monday that they are “shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible attack” at the Chabad of Poway synagogue.
“But our sadness pales in comparison to the grief and anguish our son has caused for so many innocent people,” they said. “He has killed and injured the faithful who were gathered in a sacred place on a sacred day. To our great shame, he is now part of the history of evil that has been perpetrated on Jewish people for centuries.”
They added that their son’s alleged actions “were informed by people we do not know and ideas we do not hold.”
“Like our other five children, he was raised in a family, a faith, and a community that all rejected hate and taught that love must be the motive for everything we do,” they continued. “How our son was attracted to such darkness is a terrifying mystery to us, though we are confident that law enforcement will uncover many details of the path that he took to this evil and despicable act.”
The parents asked the media and the public to respect their privacy and “allow the criminal justice system to work.”
Statement from the family of John T. Earnest. The Earnest Family does not anticipate giving any more public statements on this matter until after the criminal case is resolved. Please direct all inquiries to their attorney, Earll M. Pott at (619) 239-8131. pic.twitter.com/81662R7Egy— Klinedinst PC (@klinedinstlaw) April 29, 2019
Earnest is accused of killing one person and injuring three others at the Chabad of Poway synagogue during Passover services on Saturday. He was reportedly apprehended by police near the synagogue after the incident.
Authorities said that Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, was killed while stepping in front of Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein as he tried to evacuate children, USA Today reported.
The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office told NBC San Diego that Earnest is expected to be arraigned Tuesday on one count of murder with a hate-crime special circumstance and gun allegations, three counts of attempted murder with hate-crime and gun allegations and one count of arson of a house of worship.