11 dead in Pittsburgh synagogue terror, worst such attack in US history; white, bearded, middle-aged suspected assailant in custody, was armed with weapons of war
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.”
Law enforcement officials said Robert Bowers — a 46-year-old man with a history of making anti-Semitic statements online — surrendered to police after a gun battle and is expected to face hate crime charges.
The 11 people killed were all adults, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said at a news briefing.
The attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning is the worst on worshiping Jewish people in American history, according to a Cincinnati professor and director of the American Jewish Archives.
“This is the first time in all American history that Jewish people apparently have been murdered while worshiping,” said Gary Zola, who also teaches the American Jewish experience at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati.
The shooter carried weapons of war:
Multiple law enforcement officials have identified the suspected gunman in Saturday morning’s attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue as Robert Bowers, 46, according to NBC News. Police reportedly believe Bowers was armed with an AR-15 style rifle and several handguns. It was not immediately clear why he allegedly targeted the Tree of Life Synagogue, where a circumcision ceremony for a baby was reportedly underway at the time of the shooting. But multiple local news reports have cited witnesses as saying the gunman shouted, “All Jews must die” upon entering the synagogue.
Bowers revealed himself to be an unhinged, violent anti-Semite in his final posts to a “social media” site that is an incubator for fascistic political violence:
The #PittsburghShooting gunman is Robert Bowers. Witnesses say he shouted “All Jews must die” before he opened fire in the #Synagogue
His @getongab account shows that he hates Jewish people & President Trump #Pittsburgh #PittsburghSynagogueShooting https://t.co/du5KGiYttR pic.twitter.com/iyehueEwTF
— Λｍａｌｉｋ░ｙｏａｚま椅ヌ (@letrufflebutter) October 27, 2018
[WARNING: NSFW language in screenshots below.]
Robert Bowers interacted daily with this Gab account: Daniel McMahon aka “Jack Corbin” of Brandon, FL.
This is what he posts all day and night. And daily encouragement of Nazis to commit violence.
Bowers said it was his daily soap. pic.twitter.com/NgTGge4yvn
— Djinn (@ARAEveryDay) October 27, 2018
This story is developing.