Published: Sun, October 28, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

What we know about Robert Bowers, the synagogue shooting suspect

What we know about Robert Bowers, the synagogue shooting suspect

Officials identified the suspect in Saturday's shooting as 48-year-old Robert Bowers.

A shooter yelling "all Jews must die" opened fire during a baby naming ceremony at a Pittsburgh synagogue today, killing at least 11 people and wounding six others including four police officers who dashed to the scene, authorities said.

Tree of Life Synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers recently endorsed the conservative talking point that Jewish organizations and/or Jewish individuals have been funding the so-called "migrant caravan" of asylum seekers from Honduras.

Law enforcement officials gave additional insight into Saturday's shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue in an afternoon press conference.

Law enforcement is looking closely at a social media account believed to be linked to the suspect.

As news broke of the shooting, some on social media noted that Bowers had an account on the social media site Gab. "Screw your optics, I'm going in", wrote Bowers, a heavy-set, white male.

FBI Special Agent Bob Jones described the attack as the "most horrific crime scene I've seen in 22 years with the FBI".

"Before I ran for office, I'd watch instances like this with churchs, and other things", Trump said. Three officers were also shot, the extent of their injuries are unclear at this time.

Speaking to reporters before boarding his flight to IN earlier IN the day, Trump called the suspected shooter "a wacko" and a "maniac".

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Law enforcement officers secure the scene where multiple people were shot, October 27, 2018, at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

The Jerusalem Post quoted Dov Khenin, a member of the Joint List Arab faction in the Knesset, as saying that he suspects "the attack is an expression of the growth of unsafe antisemitism in American society - a part of the racist and violent wave during the presidency of [Donald] Trump". "These senseless acts of violence are not who we are as Pennsylvanians; they're not who we are as Americans".

Two hours before a gunman burst into the Tree of Life synagogue and opened fire during a Shabbat religious service, Bowers posted on chat site about the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), a non-profit that helps Jewish refugees relocate to the United States. Police said they received calls from people who were barricaded inside the building, KDKA reports.

For now Barkley says the community is pulling together in the time of tragedy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel slammed an act of "blind anti-Semitic hatred", saying: "We all have to stand up against anti-Semitism, everywhere".

Rabbi Chuck Diamond, a former spiritual leader of Tree of Life, told reporters that he never spoke to his congregation about what to do during a shooting, but it's something he thought about.

It was unknown whether the baby was harmed.The synagogue is located at the intersection of Wilkins and Shady avenues.

In Florida, Gov. Rick Scott said he will increase state trooper patrols at houses of worship. The attack is being considered as a hate crime and will be a federal investigation.

He said that two officers were injured in an "initial confrontation" and that a further two Swat officers were later hurt by the gunman when they entered the building.

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