Man pleads not guilty in deadly Poway synagogue attack
SAN DIEGO — A man charged with a deadly Passover shooting at a Southern California synagogue has pleaded not guilty to murder.
John Earnest entered pleas Thursday in San Diego to an updated complaint accusing him of hate crime-related murder, attempted murder and other charges.
Prosecutors say the 20-year-old nursing student opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle at the Chabad of Poway synagogue in San Diego County on April 27 during a Passover service. The attack killed 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye and wounded three others, including an 8-year-old girl and the rabbi, who lost a finger.
Earnest then reportedly called 911 to say he had shot up a synagogue because Jews were trying to “destroy all white people.”
Earnest also is charged with setting a fire at a mosque in March. Nobody was hurt.