Poway shooter formally charged


John Earnest formally charged with murder and attempted murder.

His parents express shock, say his actions are “evil”.

John Earnest, the 19-year-old accused of shooting dead one worshipper and wounding three others at a California synagogue on Saturday, was formally charged on Monday with murder and attempted murder, with hate crime allegations, according to the AFP news agency.

Earnest will be arraigned on Tuesday, the report said.

Authorities have also charged him with arson in connection to a fire last month at an Escondido mosque.

Earnest burst into the Chabad of Poway synagogue, near San Diego, and opened fire with an assault rifle, killing 60-year-old Lori Kaye. The center’s rabbi was among those wounded.

Earlier on Monday, his parents denounced his actions as “evil” and said they had no clue what motivated him.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible attack on the Chabad of Poway synagogue,” his parents said in a statement released by their attorney and quoted by AFP.

“But our sadness pales in comparison to the grief and anguish our son has caused for so many innocent people. 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.”

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