America: Pittsburgh Synagogue Leaves at Least 11 Dead



A gunman who opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh early Saturday morning killing at least 11 people has been identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers.

Bowers, who carried an assault-style rifle and multiple pistols into the synagogue, was reported to have said he "wanted to kill Jews." FBI and other law enforcement said at 4 p.m. ET news conference Saturday (watch here) that they could not confirm if the gunman made that statement. They did say that with Bowers in custody "the threat [to the synagogue and Jewish community around Pittsburgh] has been eliminated."

No children were among the deceased, officials added. The suspect is in custody and was taken to a hospital for treatment of multiple gunshot wounds.

Four police officers and six others were injured in the attack, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said at a news conference earlier in the day. 

"The scene is very bad inside" the Tree of Life Or L'Simcha Congregation located in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Hissrich added earlier Saturday.

President Trump described the mass shooting as an "anti-Semitic act" and the "vile, hateful voice of anti-Semitism."

"You wouldn't think this would be possible in this day and age, but we just don't seem to learn from the past," Trump said at a Future Farmers of America rally in Indianapolis, Indiana, Saturday afternoon.

Trump noted that the shooting took place during a baby naming ceremony and bris during Shabbat services. He added that the persecution of Jews is "one of the ugliest and darkest features of human history" and said there should not be any room for anti-Semitism or "any form of religious or racial hatred or prejudice" in the U.S.

The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime led by the FBI. Trump said federal officials would conduct a "full and thorough" investigation.

In response to the mass shooting, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has directed New York State Police to "increase patrols around Jewish centers and other houses of worship across the state."

Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter who is a practicing Orthodox Jew, said in a message on Twitter Saturday: "America is stronger than the acts of a depraved bigot and anti-Semite. All good Americans stand with the Jewish people to oppose acts of terror & share the horror, disgust & outrage over the massacre in Pittsburgh. We must unite against hatred & evil. God bless those affected."

The Prime Minister if Israel posted a video response to the shooting, saying: "I was heartbroken and appalled by the murderous attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue today. The entire people of Israel grieve with the families of the dead. We stand together with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh; we stand together with the American people in the face of this horrendous anti-Semitic brutality.

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