Before he allegedly opened fire inside a San Diego-area synagogue in an attack on Passover worshipers, 19-year-old John Earnest reportedly went onto the image-sharing site 8chan to share his plans and a link to a hate-filled manifesto.
The manifesto was referenced by NBC San Diego and links had spread across social media, though it was not confirmed to have been written by the shooting suspect.
But even before Earnest was named by local and national news outlets as the suspect in Saturday’s attack that took one life and left several others injured, many people were taking to social media to share the post which appeared to precede the shooting. It has not yet been confirmed that the nine-page, single-spaced document was written by Earnest, but many noted the connection it appeared to share with New Zealand mosque shooting suspect Brenton Tarrant.
Police say Tarrant opened fire at mosques in New Zealand, killing 50 people. But before doing so, Tarrant reportedly took to the 8chan forum chat site to share his plans, and later live-streamed the attack on Facebook Live. As Newsweek reported, the person identifying themselves as Tarrant posted a hate-filled message warning of the imminent attack.
“I will carry out and attack against the invaders, and will even live stream the attack via facebook… by the time you read this I should be going live,” an archived version of the 8chan post read.
The local NBC affiliate says the 19-year-old shooter at the Poway synagogue posted a manifesto also claiming responsibility "for an Escondido Mosque arson a week prior." Anti-semitism & anti-Muslim hatred often have common roots https://t.co/iv5551o85P
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 27, 2019
The manifesto posted to 8chan just before the San Diego-area synagogue shooting used similar language. The person, who identified themselves as John Earnest, wrote of a need to protect the “European race” and expressed a desire to kill in order to do so. The document expressed deep anti-semitism and included several quotes from the Bible. The document also made what appeared to be a tongue-in-cheek reference to YouTube gaming personality PewDiePie, whose name was also mentioned by Tarrant on his livestream of the attack in New Zealand.
The document made reference to a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that took place exactly six months before the San Diego attack. The manifesto also claimed responsibility for a mosque that had been set on fire in nearby Escondido, which The Inquisitr reported had damaged the building, but left those inside unharmed. He also included a description of the graffiti which had been left in the parking lot, which had been noted in the original report.
The person identifying themselves as John Earnest went on to say that he was not a supporter of Donald Trump, expressing sentiment similar to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect, who believed that Trump was too close to Jewish interests.