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Family of alleged San Diego synagogue shooter calls his actions "a terrifying mystery to us"

Funeral held for synagogue shooting victim
Funeral held for victim of California synagogue shooting 02:46

The family of John Earnest, the 19-year-old accused of killing one person and wounding two others at a synagogue in Poway, California on Saturday has released a statement condemning his actions. "Our son's actions were informed by people we do not know, and ideas we do not hold," the family wrote in a statement released Monday.

"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, though we are confident that law enforcement will uncover many details of the path that he took to this evil and despicable act," the statement continued.

The family said it is cooperating with investigators and that "our heavy hearts will forever go out to the victims and survivors." 

Earnest reportedly wrote a manifesto related to the Chabad synagogue shooting containing anti-Semitic rhetoric and posted it on the online message board 8chan. It reportedly cited as inspiration last year's shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, which left 11 dead, and the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, last month that left 50 dead. The suspect in that attack also posted a manifesto on 8chan and streamed live video of the shooting.

The FBI confirmed to CBS News that it received a tip five minutes before Earnest allegedly opened fire. The anonymous tip, submitted online, directed authorities to "an anonymous threatening post on a social media site." Authorities were unable to identify the post's author in the minutes before the attack took place.

Earnest surrendered to police shortly after the attack. He has been charged with one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder and is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

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