The Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in the squirrel Hill neighborhood was attacked by an unknown assailant on Saturday. Multiple people are already dead, and police asked residents nearby the area to remain inside, as the scene is still active. They have exchanged gunfire with the shooter in the street, and officers were reportedly forced to retreat behind their cruisers for cover.
Three police officers have reportedly been shot, while many people remain barricaded within the synagogue for cover. A few have escaped or been rescued, while police have been contacted by some others.
The shooting brought police from all over the city to converge on one location, at the corner of Wilkens and Shady Avenues. Right now, KDKA believes that three people were killed in the basement of the synagogue, while four more were killed on the first floor.
However, it is unclear if those totals are final, whether the shooter is acting alone, and whether they are still within the building, as the entire area is on high alert. Pittsburgh Public Safety issued a warning on Twitter.
ALERT: There is an active shooter in the area of WILKINS and Shady. Avoid the area. More info will be released when it is available.— Pgh Public Safety (@PghPublicSafety) October 27, 2018
"ALERT: There is an active shooter in the area of WILKINS and Shady. Avoid the area. More info will be released when it is available," it read.
In an official statement, a law enforcement official confirmed to NBC that there are "multiple casualties."
"A short time ago, we were dispatched to active gunfire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill," the representative said. "Right now, we have multiple casualties. We're working the situation. It is imperative that the neighbors in the community surrounding the Tree of Life synagogue stay in their houses and shelter in place. Do not come out of your home now. It is not safe."
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2018
Police dispatched SWAT teams to the area as well, and as the story unfolded, President Trump weighed in on Twitter.
"Watching the events unfolding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Law enforcement on the scene," he wrote. "People in Squirrel Hill area should remain sheltered. Looks like multiple fatalities. Beware of active shooter. God Bless All!"