(AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

Woman killed, 3 injured in shooting at California synagogue

What we know so far:

  • At least one woman is dead, a girl and two men were injured.
  • Suspect has been identified as John Earnest, 19.
  • An off-duty Border Patrol agent believed to be inside the synagogue shot at the suspect as he fled, but did not hit him.
  • Police said the suspect is also being questioned about a possible role in a nearby mosque arson last month.

A shooting at a synagogue outside San Diego where worshippers were celebrating the last day of Passover on Saturday left one woman dead and three others injured, authorities said. The suspect has been identified as 19-year-old John Earnest, San Diego County Sheriff William Gore said.

Earnest entered Chabad of Poway and opened fire on worshippers, police said. The weapon appeared to be an AR-15 rifle, Gore said.

Gore said an off-duty Border Patrol agent believed to be inside the synagogue shot at the suspect as he fled. The sheriff said the agent didn’t hit him but struck his car.

Gore said Earnest is being investigated for a possible role in a nearby mosque arson last month. Earnest did not have a history with police prior to Saturday’s shooting.

San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit said the 19-year-old suspect called police to report the shooting and a California Highway Patrol officer heard it on a police scanner, saw the suspect and pulled him over. Nisleit said the suspect got out of his car with his hands up and he was taken into custody without incident.

Gore said a woman died from her injuries. A girl and two men are being treated at local hospitals. Gore said they are in stable condition.

Earlier, a source told CBS News that a rabbi was among the people who were shot.
“The Poway I know comes together,” Poway Mayor Steve Vaus said at a news conference Saturday. “We always walk with our arms around each other and we will walk through this tragedy with our arms around each other.”

The Poway sheriff’s department sent out a tweet saying the shooting occurred just before 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

According to the Chabad of Poway Facebook page, the synagogue was holding a Passover celebration scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Authorities urged to the public to stay away from the area.

Multiple churches in the area were placed on lockdown, KFMB reported. Poway just over 20 miles north of San Diego.

The shooting came on the last day of Passover and exactly six months since a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue killed 11 people. A truck driver was charged in the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history.

Author: CBS News
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