'I Yelled as Loud as I Could': Iraq War Vet Recalls Confronting CA Synagogue Shooter
Iraq War veteran Oscar Stewart described in riveting detail Tuesday how he confronted a synagogue shooter in Poway, California.
Stewart was attending a service Saturday morning on the last day of Passover at the Chabad of Poway, north of San Diego. In his first national TV interview, he told Brian Kilmeade that when he heard the gunshots, he got up to run with everyone else, but instead turned around and ran toward the shooter.
"As I ran towards him, I yelled out as loud as I could, every inch of my body mustered this noise," said Stewart.
He said the gunman, 19-year-old John T. Earnest, dropped his weapon to the side "in a tactical sling" and ran to his car, as he pursued.
Stewart said as Earnest started the car, he heard Border Patrol agent Jonathan Morales - who was also attending the service - yell out that he had a weapon and to "clear out."
Stewart said when the shooter retreated to his car, he was concerned he would attack other people. He said Morales fired five rounds into the car, which was still parked.
"I've been told he did something wrong, he didn't," said Stewart, going on to say that he was trying to "intimidate" the shooter into retreating.
"You want to intimidate your enemy. I was always taught that that was an ongoing thing. You want to intimidate the enemy. You want to be a hard target. You want to be stronger than him and overwhelm him, and that’s what I did," he explained.
The attack killed 60-year-old Lori Kaye, who witnesses said jumped in front of rabbi Yisroel Goldstein to shield him from the bullets. Goldstein and two others were wounded, while Earnest surrendered to police.
Before the attack, Earnest posted a white supremacist and anti-Semitic letter on the online message board 8chan. He wrote of being inspired by Pittsburgh synagogue shooter Robert Bowers and Brenton Tarrant, who killed 50 people last month at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Watch the full interview above.