The man charged with murder in connection with Saturday's deadly attack at a synagogue in the U.S. state of California is due in court Tuesday.
Nineteen-year-old John Earnest will go before a judge in San Diego County to be informed of the charges against him, which include one count of first-degree murder and three counts of first-degree attempted murder.
U.S. law enforcement said Monday it received multiple tips about a threatening social media post five minutes before the attack that killed one person and wounded three others, but said there was not enough time or details to prevent the shooting.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said it learned about the threatening anonymous post through its tip website and phone line just before the attack on Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego.
The FBI said its employees took immediate action to identify who wrote the social media post and to learn which location was threatened, but said the shooting took place before they could find answers.
San Diego County police said Earnest allegedly entered the synagogue Saturday and opened fire with an AR-style assault weapon.Investigators have said Earnest wrote an anti-Semitic manifesto on social media sometime before the shooting, in which he praised those accused of the deadly New Zealand mosque attacks and October's massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
One of the tipsters told The Associated Press that he called the FBI after seeing the social media post and shortly before the attack took place. He described the FBI as quick and professional and said he doesn't know what they could have done.
"The FBI thanks the alert citizens who saw and reported the post," the bureau said in a statement.
Also Monday, the parents of Earnest said they were shocked and saddened that their son “is now part of the history of evil that has been perpetrated on Jewish people for centuries.”
In a statement, the parents said they raised their children to reject hate. “Our son's actions were informed by people we do not know, and ideas we do not hold,'' they said.
One of those injured in the attack was Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who lost his right index finger when he held up his hands as the suspect opened fire.
Goldstein said Sunday that most of his pain did not come from his own wounds, but from seeing a beloved charter member of his shul, 60-year-old Lori Kaye, lying dead on the floor as her husband, a doctor, frantically tried to resuscitate her.
Others wounded were an 8-year-old girl and her uncle — an Israeli war veteran who the rabbi said took a bullet trying to protect children. Both have been released from the hospital.
Goldstein said President Donald Trump telephoned him Sunday, speaking for about 15 minutes sharing his condolences.
"He was so comforting," Goldstein said.
I spoke at length yesterday to Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Chabad of Poway, where I extended my warmest condolences to him and all affected by the shooting in California. What a great guy. He had a least one finger blown off, and all he wanted to do is help others. Very special!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 29, 2019
On Monday, Trump said on Twitter, "I spoke at length yesterday to Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, Chabad of Poway, where I extended my warmest condolences to him and all affected by the shooting in California. What a great guy. He had at least one finger blown off, and all he wanted to do is help others. Very special!"
Goldstein said the suspect's gun "miraculously" jammed, and he was then confronted by off-duty U.S. Border Patrol agent Jonathan Morales, who Goldstein said "recently discovered his Jewish roots."
Morales fired at the fleeing suspect, missing him but striking his car.
Earnest called 911 emergency services himself to report the shooting and to tell police where he could be found. He surrendered peacefully with the apparent weapon sitting in the car.
Police say if the weapon had not misfired, the suspect might have killed many more. They also say he tried to livestream the shooting on social media but his equipment failed.