Attack occurs at synagogue in Pittsburgh


October 30, 2018

Armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and at least three handguns, a man shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire inside a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning, killing at least 11 congregants and wounding four police officers and two others, the authorities said.

The shooter who was identified by law enforcement officials as Robert D. Bowers, fired for several minutes and was leaving the synagogue when officers, dressed in tactical gear and armed with rifles, met him at the door. 

Meeting them at the door shots were exchanged. Multiple police officers were injured in the gunshot exchange. Bowers was shot also, so he then retreated into a third floor room and barricaded himself in the room to then surrender a few moments later. It is not clear to say if he was shot by a police officer or if it was self-inflicted. After being taken into custody he was sent to Allegheny General Hospital, according to news from the New York Times.

According to federal law officials, Mr. Bowers is charged with 29 criminal counts. They included obstructing the free exercise of religious beliefs, which is a hate crime, and using a firearm to commit murder. He also faces state charges, including 11 counts of criminal homicide, six counts of aggravated assault and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation.

Hours later after the attack hundreds of people sat out in the synagogues on a cold, rainy evening to mourn the dead and pray for the wounded. Scott Brady, the U.S. attorney for the western district of Pennsylvania, said after the hearing that the case would be presented to a federal grand jury within 30 days.

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