Eleven people have reportedly been killed from a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Here’s what we know so far about this horrific tragedy.
UPDATE: The death toll risen to 11 people, and the victims were identified late on Oct. 27, according to the New York Post. Ten of the names have been released. They include Joyce Feinberg, 75, of Oakland; Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township; Rose Malinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood; Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill; David Rosenthal, 54, of Squirrel Hill; Bernice Simon, 84, of Wilkinsburg; Sylvan Simon, 86, of Wilkingsburg; Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill, and Irving Youngner, 69, of Mount Washington. The alleged gunman has been identified as Robert Bowers. Ahead of the shooting, the 46-year-old suspect was believed to have posted shortly before the shooting that he “can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in,” on the Gab social media platform. The social media posts are a focus of the investigation, a federal law enforcement official told CNN. The Gab account in question has frequent anti-Semitic posts on it.
ORIGINAL: A gunman opened fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning during Sabbath services, killing at least eight people and injuring others, according to local news station KDKA. Police sources told the outlet that the shooter walked into The Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood yelling, “All Jews must die.”
Police report that the gunman has surrendered and is in custody. Eight people have been confirmed dead, and others had been shot but the severity of their injuries is currently unknown. Authorities provided no further details as they are still clearing the synagogue.
When officials arrived, the gunmen reportedly shot at them, forcing officers to use their vehicles as a shield. Police have requested that Pittsburgh residents stay inside their homes as they exchanged gun fire with the suspected gunman. Three officers were reportedly shot.
The shooting took place on the morning of Oct. 27 during weekly Shabbat services. The synagogue was reportedly full of people for the Saturday service and authorities say they’ve received multiple calls from people barricaded inside the building. Carnegie Mellon University, which is located nearby, was also reportedly on lockdown with students receiving texts telling them to stay inside.
President Donald Trump tweeted about the shooting, writing, “Watching the events unfolding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Law enforcement on the scene. People in Squirrel Hill area should remain sheltered. Looks like multiple fatalities. Beware of active shooter. God Bless All!”