Breaking news just released states at least 11 dead in shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue. Pittsburgh police are actively working the case says a Pittsburgh’ spokesperson.
A gunman killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue during Saturday-morning services in what the Anti-Defamation League called “likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.”
Robert Bowers 46, wielding an arsenal that included a semi-automatic rifle and handguns, yelled “All Jews must die” during the attack.
The shooting happened at the Tree of Life Congregation in a leafy suburb of Pittsburgh, in the heart of its Jewish community.
Law enforcement officials said Robert Bowers has a history of making anti-Semitic statements online — surrendered to police after a gun battle and is expected to face hate crime charges.
The hour-long incident left 11 dead at Tree of Life Congregation, according to Lynette Lederman, executive assistant to city council member Corey O’Connor. Lederman, who is also a former president of Tree of Life and a senior member of the Jewish community, said six others were shot — including four police officers.
“It’s a very horrific crime scene,” Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich told reporters in the afternoon after Bowers had been apprehended. “One of the worst that I’ve seen. And I’ve been on some plane crashes.”
11 dead in shooting at Pittsburgh – Shooter not known to police before today
The suspect interrupted a baby-naming service at about 10 a.m, Pennsylvania’s attorney general told the Associated Press. Witnesses said to police he burst in shouting anti-Semitic slurs and began firing.
Stephen Weiss recalled hearing gunshots and fleeing the building through the sanctuary. “We had services going on in the chapel when we heard a loud noise in the lobby area,” he told the Tribune-Review.
About 100 people we in the synagogue at the time. It was not known if the baby being circumcised, during a ceremony known as a bris, was harmed.
Bowers had left a trail of vile white supremacist comments and anti-Semitic abuse on social media, including sharing posts denying the Holocaust.
An hour before the attack he wrote on the Gab social media forum that Jewish “invaders” were “killing our people.”
He wrote: “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics; I’m going in.”
As officials try to put together a picture of the alleged synagogue shooter, one focus of the investigation is his social media postings, the FBI said. Here’s what we know so far about the suspect Robert Bowers, 46: