San Diego – A 19-year-old nursing student accused of opening fire at a California synagogue didn’t have a valid hunting license, which is the only way someone under 21 who isn’t in the military or law enforcement can legally buy a weapon under state law.

The California Fish and Wildlife Department said Wednesday that John T. Earnest was issued a hunting license, but it had not gone into effect.

It’s unclear how Earnest bought the gun. The hunting license was not set to go into effect until July 1. Authorities say Earnest was the shooter in April at the Chabad of Poway, killing one worshipper and injuring three others.

San Diego District Attorney Summer Stephan said it is believed Earnest bought the weapon legally. Court records show it was bought in San Diego.

Read or Share this story: