This week, a 19-year-old nursing student from California pierced the final days of an otherwise peaceful Passover for one San Diego suburb. The background of gunman John T. Earnest is now being revealed.
Earnest was the son of a church elder, who neighbors referred to as “the sweetest man.” But the gunman’s anti-Semitic manifesto rambled about Jews who “deserved nothing but hell.” He wanted to “Send. Them. There.”
According to the Daily Beast, the pastor of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church where Earnest’s father was an elder, said that Earnest had never been the kind of person who would have carried out such an attack.
Pastor Zach Keele told his congregation that Earnest must “suffer the full punishment of the law” and hopes he will “recant his hatred.”
According to church board member Gerrit Groenwold, who is the father of the girlfriend of one of Earnest’s brothers, said that he tried to reach out to the shooter, describing him as quiet. He had little success.
“I have tried to talk to John several times, but he is very silent and very reclusive. I noticed that he was quiet and just wanted to have contact… The other [members of his family] are not nearly as quiet,” he said. “It’s not good if someone is that quiet. He needs to be part of the community, to let them know what is going on.”
Earnest also claimed responsibility for an attempted arson attack last month on Dar-ul-Arqam Mosque in Escondido, about nine miles from Poway, Security cameras at the mosque caught a suspect breaking a lock and pouring liquid on a side door but had failed to identify the person. Gore said investigators are now looking his “possible involvement in the arson and vandalism of mosque.”
In a comment that was left after the synagogue shooting, someone asks, “How does a child of such privilege to so horribly wrong? Where does this hatred come from?”
Earnest’s worship of Adolf Hitler was a hushed family secret that only manifested in his online message boards and 8Chan postings. The site has become a way for terrorist groups and lone wolves to distribute their propaganda and make like-minded friends.
He also swore he would livestream his shooting the way Christchurch, New Zealand shooter Brenton Tarrant did. Facebook’s efforts to improve rapid takedowns seem to have been implemented successfully and the profile and links were immediately removed. Oddly enough, however, they didn’t see the warning signs when Earnest created the page, The Beast reported.