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California synagogue shooting suspect identified as 19-year-old

Xinhua | Updated: 2019-04-28 10:30

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore speaks at a news conference at the scene of a shooting incident at the Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, San Diego, California, April 27, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

LOS ANGELES - The suspect of Saturday's synagogue shooting in San Diego, California, has been identified as 19-year-old John Earnest, authorities said.

The suspect has no prior contact with law enforcement, said San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore.

Authorities are aware of an online manifesto that Earnest wrote, and are looking into digital evidence and checking the authenticity of the document, according to Gore.

"We are serving search warrants for the suspect's home, car and the Chabad of Poway," he said, adding that officials are checking Earnest's possible involvement in the arson and vandalism of mosque in Escondido, a city northeast of downtown San Diego.

One person died and three others were injured in the synagogue shooting. The wounded were taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

Gore said a Rabbi is in surgery after suffering defensive wounds to his index fingers, adding that the injured are "doing well" and a wounded minor has been transferred to Rady Children's, the largest children's hospital in California.

A candlelight vigil is held at Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church for victims of a shooting incident at the Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, north of San Diego, California, US, April 27, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

In a Poway incident community message, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department assured that there are no known threats to religious gatherings.

"The suspect in the Poway incident today has been captured and we believe he acted alone," said the message.

"We encourage our communities to continue with scheduled events and other activities as normal," it said.

Local police will be providing extra patrols at religious centers throughout the weekend. The Sheriff's Department asked the public to remain clear of the areas as an investigation is underway.

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