Gunman accused of killing woman in hate-fueled shooting inside San Diego synagogue pleads guilty to 113 federal charges

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The gunman who unleashed a hail of bullets inside a San Diego synagogue during Passover, fatally striking one woman and injuring three more amid the hate-fueled attack, has pleaded guilty to all 113 federal charges against him.

The conclusion of John Earnest’s federal trial on Friday comes nearly two months after he similarly entered a guilty plea in state court in connection with the shooting at the Chabad of Poway, the Los Angeles Times reported. The 22-year-old suspect, a Rancho Peñasquitos resident and former nursing student at Cal State San Marcos, was able to avoid the possibility of capital punishment with the pair of pleas.

Prosecutors said 54 people were inside the synagogue when Earnest opened fire on April 27, 2019, which also marked the final day of Passover. Among them was 60-year-old Lori Gilbert-Kaye, who was at the temple with her husband and daughter to honor her late mother when she was shot and killed inside the foyer at the front of the house of worship.

The congregation’s rabbi, Yisroel Goldstein, lost a finger in and another two people — Almog Peretz and his then-8-year-old niece, Noya Dahan — were also injured amid the violence.

Surveillance video taken from the scene shows Earnest’s opening fire and then struggling with his gun, which seemingly jammed shortly after his arrival, before getting chased out of the building by congregants. And while the shooter managed to flee, but he was found and arrested by authorities a short time later.

As part of his plea in the state’s prosecution, Earnest admitted that he specifically targeted the victims because they were Jewish.

He has also pleaded guilty to an arson charge for setting fire about a month before the synagogue shooting inside the Dar-ul-Arqam Mosque in Escondido on March 24, 2019.

Earnest’s sentencing hearing has been set in the federal case for Dec. 28. He’s scheduled to be sentenced later this month to life in prison without the possibility of parole, plus 137 years to life, in the state’s case.

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