11 Dead, 6 Injured in Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

The death toll in the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh is now at 11. Six others were injured, including police officers who responded to the scene.

Police were called to the scene just before 10 a.m. ET, while Shabbat services were still going on, reports KDKA. The suspect, later identified as Robert Bowers, reportedly shot at police before he went back into the building. Twenty minutes after receiving the first call, Bowers was apprehended.

Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said in a press conference that at least two officers were wounded at the scene. A member of the SWAT team that arrived was also injured.

The three other wounded victims include a 61-year-old woman and a 55-year-old man who were in stable condition at a nearby hospital as of 5:30 p.m. ET. A 70-year-old man and the SWAT officer, a 40-year-old man, are in critical condition. A 27-year-old male officer is also in stable condition. Another officer was treated and released.

After the Sabbath ended at sundown, more than 3,000 people attended a vigil organized by Allderdice High School students, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"I am a different Jew today than I was yesterday," Sophia Levin, a sophomore at the school, told the Post-Gazette. "I hope that the Jew I am today will be stronger."

The Sixth Presbyterian Church alos held an interfaith service before attendees went to the outdoor vigil.

"Obviously, we're all heart-broken, but how many of you are angry?" Wasi Mohamed, of Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, said in a speech during the vigil. "Hands raised all over. And how could we not be? People were stolen from us."

U.S. Congressman Mike Doyle, who attended the vigil, told KDKA he was inspired by the young people who organized the vigil.

"This was a very emotional, beautiful vigil, so proud of our community, our hearts are broken from this senseless, senseless hate crime against the Jewish community," Doyle told the CBS affiliate. "To see these young students say what they had to say and to show that strength and the sense of community that exists here, that this is not something that we're going to let break us, was really inspiring."

While the Pittsburgh community mourns, the FBI is continuing its investigation into Bowers. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said the U.S. Department of Justice will file hate crimes against the suspect, "including charges that could lead to the death penalty."

According to CNN, federal prosecutors filed 29 counts of violence and firearms offenses against Bowers.

Bowers reportedly made anti-Semitic comments on social media before the shooting, blaming Jews for migrant caravans. He also reportedly said "All Jews must die" as he entered the synagogue Saturday morning.

0comments

The Post-Gazette reports that another interfaith gathering and vigil will be held at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland, Pennsylvania. It is being organized with the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

Photo credit: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images