Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting: At Least 8 Dead

Geraldine Edwards
October 28, 2018

A gunman yelling, "All Jews must die", stormed a Pittsburgh synagogue during Saturday services, killing 11 worshippers and wounding six other people including four police officers, before he was arrested. In a press conference, an official said there were multiple causalities inside, including three officers who have been shot.

The synagogue was holding a shabbat religious service that started at 9:45 a.m. (1345 GMT), according to the organization's website.

Former FBI agent Brad Orsini, the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh's director of Jewish community security, told the Jewish newspaper at the end of September that incidents ranged from graffiti and online bullying, to two potentially anti-Semitic physical assaults.

Jones said the scene of Saturday's shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation was "the most horrific crime scene I have seen" in 22 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A deadly shooting broke out at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on Saturday morning.

An attacker, reportedly carrying an AR-15 rifle and a Glock handgun, entered the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and opened fire on those praying there. He is in custody, and police are investigating a motive.

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Police rapid response team members respond to the site of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Bowers, described as heavy-set and bearded, was also wounded. "We believe the subject responsible for this has been taken into custody".

At least four people were being treated at UPMC hospitals, three of whom were in surgery Saturday afternoon, the hospital tweeted.

An FBI official says Bowers was not known to law enforcement.

Mr Finkelstein said local synagogues have done "lots of training on things like active shooters, and we've looked at hardening facilities as much as possible".

Eisenberg told CNN he was heading to the synagogue, a block away from his home, when he learned of the shootings.

Pittsburgh tweeted earlier there was an active shooter in the area of Wilkins and Shady avenues, the Tree of Life Synagogue is at that intersection.

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Among the many anti-Semitic social media posts were comments suggesting that President Trump was surrounded by too many Jewish people.

"These senseless acts of violence are not who we are as Americans", he said.

"Our nation and the world are shocked and stunned by the grief. It must be condemned and confronted everywhere and anywhere it appears".

The Jerusalem Post quoted Dov Khenin, a member of the Joint List Arab faction in the Knesset, as saying that he suspects "the attack is an expression of the growth of unsafe antisemitism in American society - a part of the racist and violent wave during the presidency of [Donald] Trump".

The US Department of Justice will file hate crime and other criminal charges against Bowers that could lead to the death penalty, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.

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