US prosecutors add hate crime charges in synagogue shooting

California

SAN DIEGO (AP) – Federal officials have announced 109 hate crime charges against the 19-year-old man accused of opening fire on a Southern California synagogue during Passover service.

Federal and local law enforcement officials announced the news conference in San Diego on Thursday.

Prosecutors say the gunman, identified as John T. Earnest, killed a woman and wounded an 8-year-old girl, her uncle and Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein, who was leading the service at the Chabad of Poway synagogue on the last day of Passover, a major Jewish holiday.

In a court appearance last month, Earnest pleaded not guilty to state charges of murder and attempted murder.

In a separate case, he has pleaded not guilty to burning a mosque in nearby Escondido.

Authorities say he fired at least eight shots in the synagogue before fleeing.

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