Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect charged with murder, could face death penalty

Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect charged with murder, could face death penalty

The attack is believed to be the deadliest on the Jewish community in USA history, the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement.

Suspect Robert Bowers, of suburban Baldwin, sustained multiple-shot injuries and was listed in fair condition at Allegheny General Hospital.

Contributing to this report were Associated Press writers Mark Gillispie and Gene Puskar in Pittsburgh, Eric Tucker and Michael Balsamo in Washington, Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Michael Kunzelman in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Michael Rubinkam in northeastern Pennsylvania.

The mass shooting prompted security alerts at houses of worship around the country.

Some complained that the confrontational, nationalistic rhetoric of US President Donald Trump has encouraged right-wing extremists and fed a surge in activity by hate groups.

This is the kind of attack-no, these are the kinds of attack-that call for the strongest, most powerful, most unequivocal unity of all those who face racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, homophobic, misogynistic, transphobic violence, a unity to bring down the forces of white supremacy and hate. "How many mosques, synagogues, churches and schools and malls and movie theaters will we have to retrieve dead bodies from before we realize we that we have a real problem with violence?"

"I've heard the president's comments about how we should arm guards in our synagogues, our churches, our mosques".

"We're all very disturbed by these events", he said in an interview Sunday.

Trump also told reporters he planned to travel to Pittsburgh this week. He did not have a criminal record and was not known to police, law enforcement officials said on Saturday. We must work together to eradicate this evil by a policy of zero tolerance for anti-Semitism.

Brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and David Rosenthal, 54. The oldest was 97.

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The authorities described a 20-minute rampage that began when the gunman burst into the building early on Saturday and opened fire with an assault-style AR-15 rifle and two Glock handguns.

Robert Bowers was taken into custody after a shootout with a SWAT team.

News of the attack spread quickly through the surrounding neighborhood.

The attack - the darkest day of Pittsburgh's history, according to Mayor Bill Peduto - happened as worshippers gathered in a drizzly morning in different rooms at the congregation, home to three different synagogues.

He said he could imagine a scene of pandemonium if the assailant showed up at his temple.

About half of the congregants at Beth Shalom do not drive on the Sabbath, he said.

The gunman who killed eight men and three women during the Shabbat services at a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, synagogue on Saturday morning has been charged with 29 counts of federal crimes related to firearm offences.

Bowers had a history of posting anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant statements on social media, including a post made moments before the first 911 calls were made Saturday. "Screw your optics, I'm going in", he posted.

The emerging evidence strongly suggests that the attack was motivated by anti-Semitism and was the deadliest against the Jewish community in the history of the USA, as per the Anti Defamation League, a Jewish non-governmental organisation.

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