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Published On: Sat, Oct 27th, 2018

Robert Bowers identified as Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, 10 dead, six more injured

The man arrested in the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning screamed anti-Semitic epithets, including “All Jews must die,” as he fired at random, a law enforcement official told USA TODAY.

Robert Bowers, 46, was armed with at least one rifle during the attack inside the Tree of Life synagogue.

“This is likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States,” said Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive for the Anti-Defamation League. “We are devastated. Jews targeted on Shabbat morning at synagogue, a holy place of worship, is unconscionable.”

Bowers’ social media accounts are riddled with anti-Semitic rants, prompting authorities to designate the FBI as the lead agency to investigate the attack as an alleged hate crime.

Shortly before the shooting, Bowers posted on his Gab account that he “can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.” Gab is a social media platform that advocates for free speech and puts nearly no restrictions on content.

Pittsburgh officials report that Bowers was injured in the shootout with police, then taken to the hospital after the shooting, which left at least 10 people were reported dead and six others injured, including several police officers.


HIAS, a nonprofit focusing on protecting refugees, wrote in a statement, “This loss is our loss, and our thoughts are with Tree of Life Congregation, our local partner Jewish Family and Community Services (JFCS) of Pittsburgh, the city of Pittsburgh and all those affected by this senseless act of violence.”

The World Jewish Congress, an international organization representing Jewish communities, wrote in a statement, “This was an attack not just on the Jewish community, but on America as a whole.”

The group went on to say that these attacks must be condemned and “do everything in our power to stop these atrocities from happening again.”

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, who was born and raised in the Pittsburgh area, also responded in a statement: “This horrific act of violence perpetrated against a holy people on their holy day reminds us of the reality of evil and the need to counter its influence with courage and love.”
Hatch added, “The hatred in this man’s heart has no place in a society founded in the ideal of religious freedom.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf tweeted after his initial visit to the scene of the crime, “These senseless acts of violence are not who we are as Americans.” Wolf added his support of stronger gun laws saying, “Dangerous weapons are putting our citizens in harms way.”

President Donald Trump’s daughter and close adviser, Ivanka Trump, tweeted Saturday afternoon saying, “America is stronger than the acts of a depraved bigot and anti-semite.” Trump converted to Judaism after marrying Jared Kushner in 2009.

About the Author

- Roxanne "Butter" Bracco began with the Dispatch as Pittsburgh Correspondent, but will be providing reports and insights from Washington DC, Maryland and the surrounding region. Contact Roxie aka "Butter" at [email protected] ATTN: Roxie or Butter Bracco

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  1. […] and were given a shopping list of weapons and ammunition, items he needed to mimic the October Tree of Life shooting, where 11 people were killed, Herdman […]

  2. […] a synagogue in New York City with anti-Semitic messages just days after eleven people were murdered at a Pittsburgh synagogue in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. […]

  3. […] of their disruption; one leftist woman even interrupted a moment of silence for the victims of the massacre on Saturday at a Pittsburgh synagogue, shouting, “Marsha Blackburn is a white […]

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