Makeshift memorial near Chabad of Poway
Makeshift memorial near Chabad of Poway Reuters

The parents of the Poway synagogue shooter issued a statement condemning him and the “darkness” that led to “this evil and despicable act.”

“Our son’s actions were informed by people we do not know, and ideas we do not hold. Like our other five children, he was raised in a family, a faith and a community that all rejected hate and taught that love must be the motive for everything we do. How our son was attracted to such darkness is a terrifying mystery to us,” the parents of John Earnest wrote Monday.

Earnest, 19, was charged with murder Sunday afternoon. Before the attack, someone identifying himself as John Earnest posted a link to a hate-filled “manifesto” filled with anti-Semitic and white nationalist sentiment.

His father, John, is a long-time science teacher at Mt. Carmel High School, from which the younger Earnest graduated in 2017.

Lori Gilbert-Kaye, 60, was killed in the Saturday morning attack and three people, including the synagogue rabbi and an 8-year-old girl, were injured.

The family added that they will likely not comment further “until after the criminal case is resolved.”