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As it happenedended1540679485

Pittsburgh shooting: 11 dead in synagogue attack with suspect Rob Bowers to face federal hate crime charges

Mike Pence, Ivanka Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu all release statements condemning attack 

Chris Stevenson,Adam Forrest
Saturday 27 October 2018 23:28 BST
Donald Trump suggests places of worship sould have armed protection

Eleven people have been killed during a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in what Donald Trump called a "wicked" antisemitic act of mass murder.

Another six people were injured, two of them critically – including four police officers having exchanged fire with the shooter. Among the injured were a 61-year-old woman, a 70-year-old man and a 55-year old police officer. A suspect – later named as Robert Bowers, who is in his 40s – was arrested at the scene and also taken to hospital with multiple gunshot wounds.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions later announced the Justice Department will file hate crimes charges against Mr Bowers, “including charges that could lead to the death penalty".

There were a number of services underway at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighbourhood, including a baby-naming ceremony or bris, when the active shooter call was placed to police just before 10am.

“It’s a very horrific crime scene,“ Wendell Hissrich, Pittsburgh public safety director, said at the scene. “One of the worst that I’ve seen.” Law enforcement officials said that the shooter was armed with an assault weapon, and three handguns – although it was not clear all were used. Dispatchers on police radio claimed that the shooter made a number of comments during a stand-off with police about wanting to kill Jews.

Federal officials said the shooter went into the synagogue and shot the congregation before being engaged by officers on his way out. Two were shot before the gunman returned into the building to hide from approaching Swat teams. Two Swat officers were injured in a later exchange of gunfire.

The FBI are now leading the federal hate crime investigation. Mr Bowers is said to have been acting alone, with the lead FBI investigator, Bob Jones, saying that officials believed he was unknown to law enforcement before the shooting.

Speaking at a Future Farmers of America convention in Indianapolis, Mr Trump called the shooting a “wicked act of mass murder” that is antisemitic and “pure evil, hard to believe.The president added that antisemitism ”must be confronted anywhere and everywhere it appears".

The FBI say they will now be looking into every facet of the suspect’s life as they seek to pin down a motive. From his home, to his vehicle, to his movements in recent days. However a focus will be his social media output, with accounts under the suspect's name appearing to show a number of antisemitic rants.

A social media post just before the time of the shooting under a profile with the name Robert Bowers said a Jewish refugee organisation, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, “likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in".

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Saturday’s mass shooting comes just 10 days before a bitterly fought national midterm election that has divided the country and set Americans on edge, and in a week in which more than a dozen pipe bombs were mailed to critics of Mr Trump.

Mr Trump said on his way to Indianapolis, before a later rally in Illinois: “It’s a terrible, terrible thing what’s going on with hate in our country and frankly all over the world, and something has to be done.”

If you want to see how the day unfolded read our live coverage below.

Please allow a moment for the live blog to load


Hello and welcome to our coverage of the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Chris Stevenson27 October 2018 16:23
Chris Stevenson27 October 2018 16:24

"It is imperative that the neighbors in the community surrounding the Tree of Life synagogue stay in their houses and shelter in place," says Pittsburgh police Commander Jason Lando. "Do not come out of your home right now. It is not safe."

Chris Stevenson27 October 2018 16:25

While police have said there is a number of casualties, local media are reporting that a number of people have been killed.

Chris Stevenson27 October 2018 16:26

Here is some video of the scene:

Chris Stevenson27 October 2018 16:27

 Police are reporting a suspect is in custody after the shooting.

Three officers were also shot in the attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. 

Chris Stevenson27 October 2018 16:43

Police spokesman Chris Togneri says police have no more information at this time because they are still trying to clear the building and figure out if any more threats exist.

Chris Stevenson27 October 2018 16:44

President Donald Trump is said to be monitoring the situation.

He has warned people to beware of a active shooter, and while police have not yet cleared the synagogue, there is a suspect in custody.

Chris Stevenson27 October 2018 16:47

Local media  are reporting that up to eight people are dead, with multiple people also injured.

Chris Stevenson27 October 2018 16:52

The local CBS affiliate KDKA reported that police had exchanged shots with a gunman at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighbourhood. People barricaded inside had made calls out, the same station said, adding that other people had been shot.

Chris Stevenson27 October 2018 16:54

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