Pittsburgh synagogue shooting
The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting (October 27, 2018) was a mass shooting at the Tree of Life * Or L'Simcha Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, while Shabbat morning services and a bris were being held. Eleven people were killed and six were injured. The sole suspect, 46-year-old Robert G. Bowers, was arrested and charged with 29 federal crimes and 36 state crimes.
- This is the nightmare situation
Today is the day you will find more people in a synagogue than any other day.
there are people in the community who don't even know yet
I'm a father of a young child, so this is the point that hits closer to home. There couldn't be anything more heinous... that an infant would be present
A hate crime directed at the Jewish community is not just an attack on the Jewish people, it's an attack on the entire country
No religious group should ever feel threatened or feel insecure in terms of celebrating its faith, and today we're the victims, but we know that when hate comes out in this way, it doesn't usually stop with us.
- David Kurzmann, executive director of the Bloomfield Hills-based Jewish Community Relations Council/AJC, "Metro Detroit's Jewish community: Unintimidated after Pittsburgh tragedy", Detroit Free Press (27 October 2018)
- Because this was our neighborhood, caught in the crossfire of the strains of the global village, and for once — sadly, so very sadly — the hurt was ours, and the victims were ours, and the need to heal is ours. For now it has happened here; for millions across this wounded nation, we are the focus of anguish and anger and solace, the it-can-happen-anywhere place of the moment. And we know, given the tempo of tragedy in these times that are ours, that the title won’t be ours for long.
- David Shribman, executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Shribman, David (October 27, 2018). "Dispatch from Squirrel Hill: Dread in a peaceful place". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved on November 3, 2018. ).
- Evidence recovered and/or identified by the FBI and/or Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) at the scene includes the following firearms:
a. A Glock .357 handgun bearing serial number BCUM029;
b. A Glock .357 handgun bearing serial number YEY449;
c. A Glock .357 handgun bearing serial number RHY244; and,
d. A Colt AR-15 model SPI bearing serial number SP99907.
- United States of America v. Robert Bowers, Case No. 18-1396, Criminal Complaint (October 27, 2018). Retrieved on October 29, 2018.
- What was the gunman armed with? Bowers was armed with a Colt AR-15 SP1 assault rifle and three Glock .357 SIG-caliber semi-automatic handguns, authorities said at a press conference Sunday. Authorities said all four weapons were fired during the shooting. He was injured in confrontation with officers and transported to a local hospital, where an official at the press conference said he was in fair condition.
- Vesoulis, Abby (October 27, 2018). "What to Know About Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Suspect Robert Bowers". Time. Retrieved on October 29, 2018.
- Parkland, Florida.
Las Vegas, Nevada.
Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Now, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Recent deadly mass shootings in these US cities have at least one thing in common: the AR-15.
- Brown, Daniel (October 27, 2018). "The Pittsburgh synagogue shooter was reportedly armed with an AR-15 — here's how it became the weapon of choice for America's mass shooters". Business Insider. Retrieved on October 29, 2018.
- Bowers, 46, allegedly burst into the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in the affluent Squirrel Hill neighborhood, shouting anti-Semitic epithets as he opened fire on the congregants. His extensive armaments included a Colt AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and three Glock .357 handguns. At least three of the weapons were purchased legally, the Associated Press reported, citing an unnamed law enforcement official.
- Bacon, John; Johnson, Kevin (October 28, 2018). "Pittsburgh shooting suspect Robert Bowers wanted 'to kill Jews'". USA Today. Retrieved on October 29, 2018.
- "They're committing genocide to my people," Bowers told police during the shootout, according to an FBI affidavit. "I just want to kill Jews."...
Police said they received 911 calls about an active shooter around 10 a.m., five minutes after Bowers made his last social media post. When officers entered the building, they found the victims' bodies and survivors hiding. They rescued at least two people from the basement and scrambled to evacuate people as they looked for the gunman.
Two officers encountered the gunman as he was attempting to leave the building, according to a criminal complaint. The gunman fired at them, shooting one officer in the hand before fleeing back inside the synagogue. The other officer suffered several cuts to his face from shrapnel and broken glass.
SWAT officers found Bowers on the third floor of the building and exchanged gunfire with him until he surrendered, authorities said. Two SWAT officers were injured in the gunfight, along with Bowers.
Bowers used a Colt AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 handguns during the attack, police said. Bowers legally purchased the three Glock .357s, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told CNN. It's not clear whether the AR-15 was purchased legally.
- Chavez, Nicole; Grinberg, Emanuella; McLaughlin, Eliott C. (October 28, 2018). "Pittsburgh synagogue gunman said he wanted all Jews to die, criminal complaint says". CNN. Retrieved on October 29, 2018.
- The shooting began around 9:50 a.m. Bowers was armed with several guns including an AR-15, records show.
Bowers killed 11 people then went to the third floor of the building. Law enforcement responded and exchanged gunfire with Bowers.
"They're committing genocide to my people," Bowers allegedly told one law enforcement officer. "I just want to kill Jews."
Authorities say he continued to make comments about genocide. Bowers eventually surrendered to police.
Investigators located three .357 caliber Glock handguns and a Colt AR-15, records show.
- Croteau, Scott J. (October 28, 2018). "Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers was armed with AR-15 and said 'he wanted all Jews to die'". MassLive Media. Retrieved on October 30, 2018.
- “They’re committing genocide to my people,” the suspect told a SWAT officer after being shot and captured, according to a federal criminal complaint released Sunday. “I just want to kill Jews.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto called the attack the “darkest day of Pittsburgh’s history” after the victims’ names were read out Sunday morning. The mayor also disputed President Donald Trump’s suggestion that the synagogue should have had armed guards.
“The approach we need to be looking at is how we take the guns — the common denominator of every mass shooting in America — out of the hands of those looking to express hatred through murder,” Peduto told reporters....
In what appeared to be his final social media post hours before the attack, the man wrote: “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”...
He allegedly walked through an unlocked door at about 9:45 a.m., armed with a Colt AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 pistols — all four of which fired, police said, as he moved around the large building, screaming about Jews.
- Selk, Avi; Berman, Mark; Achenbach, Joel (October 28, 2018). "Police detail the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre and name the 11 dead, including 97-year-old woman". National Post. The Washington Post. Retrieved on October 30, 2018. ; Selk, Avi; Berman, Mark; Achenbach, Joel (October 28, 2018). "Documents detail the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre and name the dead". The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Washington Post. Retrieved on October 31, 2018.
- Bowers was armed with a Colt AR-15, as well as three Glock .357 handguns when he entered the synagogue.
These details and others were released Sunday morning in a federal criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Western District of Pennsylvania by FBI Special Agent Brian Collins.
"During the course of his deadly assault on people at the synagogue, and simultaneously with his gunfight with responding officers, Bowers made statements evincing an animus towards people of the Jewish faith," the complaint said. "For example, Bowers commented to one law enforcement officer, in substance, 'they're committing genocide to my people. I just want to kill Jews.' Bowers repeated comments regarding genocide, his desire to kill Jewish people, and that Jewish people needed to die."...
Mr. Bowers used all four weapons during the attack, authorities said.
- Reed Ward, Paula (October 28, 2018). "Authorities: Mass shooting suspect said he wanted 'all Jews to die'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved on November 2, 2018.
- The complaint said Bowers made statements “evincing an animus towards people of Jewish faith.” Bowers told one law enforcement officer, “they’re committed genocide to my people. I just want to kill Jews.” Bowers repeated comments regarding genocide, his desire to kill Jewish people and that Jewish people needed to die, the federal complaint said.
Bowers eventually surrendered.
According to the complaint, Bowers had four weapons on him including three Glock .357 handguns as well as a Colt AR-15 model SP1.
- "What we know about Robert Bowers, suspect in mass shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue". WPXI. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. October 29, 2018. Retrieved on October 29, 2018.
- I don't think that the answer to this problem is solved by having our synagogues, mosques and churches filled with armed guards or our schools filled with armed guards.
- Bill Peduto, mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania ("Meet the Press - October 28, 2018". Meet the Press. NBC News. October 28, 2018. Retrieved on October 29, 2018. ; Sonmez, Felicia (October 28, 2018). "Pittsburgh mayor says armed guards are not the solution in wake of synagogue shooting". The Washington Post. Retrieved on October 29, 2018. ).
- I think the approach that we need to be looking at is how we take the guns — which is the common denominator of every mass shooting in America — out of the hands of those that are looking to express hatred through murder.
- Bill Peduto, mayor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (Sonmez, Felicia (October 28, 2018). "Pittsburgh mayor says armed guards are not the solution in wake of synagogue shooting". The Washington Post. Retrieved on October 29, 2018. ).
- I think more and more you're seeing people in the sports world, athletes and coaches, speaking out because the times call for it. It's easy to feel how broken we are right now, our country is, and everybody can have influence. Not just our political leaders but people who are either well-known figures, who have a camera in their face a lot, or average citizens just being kind to each other, being nice to one another. Not spewing hatred on social media. Those are all things we have to think about and try to accomplish to get our country back on track. And we need to vote. I urge everybody to get out and vote on November 6.
Everybody has their own issues that are important to them. My personal issue is gun safety, gun control. Nobody in this country should have a semi-automatic weapon of war. That's my personal belief. So I'm going to vote for every candidate that's willing to stand up to the NRA and say 'You know what, this is insane.' We're murdering each other everyday. We have to get rid of bump stocks, we have to get rid of high-capacity magazines, we have to get rid of semi-automatic weapons. We just do. Other countries don't go through this.
And so that's the issue that's most important to me and those are the candidates that I will be voting for, the ones who are willing to stand up and say, 'You know what, this is wrong we've gotta protect our fellow citizens and we gotta protect our country.'
- Steve Kerr, American professional basketball coach and former player (Korman, Chris (October 28, 2018). "Steve Kerr speaks out on gun control in wake of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting". USA Today. Retrieved on October 29, 2018. ).
- Bowers used a Colt AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 handguns during the attack, police said. Bowers legally purchased the three Glock .357s, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told CNN. It's not clear whether the AR-15 was purchased legally.
- Cullinane, Susannah (October 29, 2018). "Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect due in court". CNN. MSN. Retrieved on October 29, 2018.
- The man accused of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, Robert Bowers, legally purchased the guns he used to kill 11 people in what is believed to be the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in the United States, according to the federal authorities.
Officials have said Mr. Bowers used four guns — an AR-15 assault rifle and three Glock .357 handguns — in his shooting spree at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning.
An investigation has concluded that the guns were “acquired and possessed legally by Bowers,” the Philadelphia office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Tuesday.
Mr. Bowers did not fall into any category barred from gun ownership under federal law, including felons, convicted domestic abusers, dishonorably discharged veterans, or people adjudicated to be mentally ill or subject to certain restraining orders.
- Oppel Jr., Richard A. (October 30, 2018). "Synagogue Suspect’s Guns Were All Purchased Legally, Inquiry Finds". The New York Times. Retrieved on November 2, 2018.
- Police said Bowers used a Colt AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 handguns during the attack. He legally purchased the three Glock .357s, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told CNN. It's not clear whether the AR-15 was purchased legally.
Hours before the shooting, Bowers posted about Trump. Minutes before allegedly storming inside the building, he logged onto Gab again and wrote to his followers.
"I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered," he wrote. "Screw your optics, I'm going in."
- Vera, Amir (October 30, 2018). "Funerals underway after 11 slain at Pittsburgh synagogue". CNN. Retrieved on October 30, 2018.
- Every American has the right to attend their house of worship in safety. The defendant in this case allegedly murdered 11 innocent people during religious services and injured four law enforcement officers. These alleged crimes are incomprehensibly evil and utterly repugnant to the values of this nation.
- Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement (Fortin, Jacey (October 31, 2018). "Robert Bowers Indicted on 44 Counts After Synagogue Shooting in Pittsburgh". The New York Times. Retrieved on November 2, 2018. ).
- Today begins the process of seeking justice for the victims of these hateful acts, and healing for the victims’ families, the Jewish community and our city.
- Scott W. Brady, United States attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, in a statement (Fortin, Jacey (October 31, 2018). "Robert Bowers Indicted on 44 Counts After Synagogue Shooting in Pittsburgh". The New York Times. Retrieved on November 2, 2018. ).
- In a rampage that has been described as among the deadliest against the Jewish community in the United States, the suspect — armed with a Colt AR-15 rifle and at least three handguns — stormed into the Tree of Life synagogue on Saturday and opened fire indiscriminately, the authorities said. Among the injured were several law enforcement officers.
- Fortin, Jacey (October 31, 2018). "Robert Bowers Indicted on 44 Counts After Synagogue Shooting in Pittsburgh". The New York Times. Retrieved on November 2, 2018.
- All the guns used in Saturday's massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue had been purchased legally, a federal official said Wednesday.
Authorities allege Robert Bowers opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue as three congregations gathered to celebrate Shabbat services Saturday morning, killing 11 people and injuring six others in what's believed to the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in US history.
Bowers used a Colt AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 handguns during the attack, police have said.
- Mallonee, Mary Kay; Simko-Bednarski, Evan; Hanna, Jason (October 31, 2018). "Guns used in Pittsburgh synagogue killings were legally bought, official says". CNN. Retrieved on November 2, 2018.
- Prosecutors say Bowers entered the Tree of Life Synagogue with multiple firearms, including Glock .357-caliber handguns and a Colt AR-15 rifle, and made statements expressing his desire to “kill Jews.”
“Today begins the process of seeking justice for the victims of these hateful acts, and healing for the victims’ families, the Jewish community, and our city,” U.S. Attorney Scott W. Brady said in a statement. “Our office will spare no resource, and will work with professionalism, integrity and diligence, in a way that honors the memories of the victims.”
- Madani, Doha (October 31, 2018). "Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect indicted on federal hate crime charges, faces 535 years". NBC News. Retrieved on November 2, 2018.
- The suspect in a grisly shooting that left 11 people dead at a Pittsburgh synagogue was charged Wednesday in a 44-count indictment accusing him of federal hate crimes.
Officials say Robert Bowers, 46, of Baldwin, Pa., drove to Tree of Life synagogue armed with Glock .357 handguns and a Colt AR-15 rifle. The indictment charges that while inside the synagogue, Bowers made statements indicating his desire to “kill Jews.”
- Zapotosky, Matt; Barrett, Devlin; Berman, Mark (October 31, 2018). "Suspect in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting is charged in 44-count hate-crime indictment". The Washington Post. Retrieved on November 11, 2018.
- Prosecutors say Bowers entered the Tree of Life Synagogue during services on Saturday morning with multiple firearms, including Glock .357-caliber handguns and a Colt AR-15 rifle, and made statements expressing his desire to “kill Jews” as he stalked his victims.
- Fieldstadt, Elisha; Kaplan, Ezra (November 1, 2018). "Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers pleads not guilty to federal hate crime charges". NBC News. Retrieved on November 2, 2018.
- A Pittsburgh synagogue, a Florida high school, a Texas church, a Las Vegas concert, a Connecticut elementary school. These are the locations of some of the deadliest mass shootings in America in recent history, and they all have something in common: The style of weapon used at each horrific scene was the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.
- A federal grand jury added new hate crime charges on Tuesday in a new superseding indictment against Robert Bowers, who allegedly killed 11 Jewish worshipers in an anti-Semitic attack in Pittsburgh last October.
Bowers, 46, originally faced 44 federal charges over the Oct. 27, 2018, attack at the Tree of Life synagogue.
The new indictment adds an additional 19 charges: 11 counts of hate crimes leading to death, two counts of hate crimes leading to injury and six corresponding firearms charges, according to the Department of Justice.
Bowers allegedly entered the synagogue armed with multiple firearms, including three Glock .357 handguns and a Colt AR-15 rifle, and expressed a desire to “kill Jews” before opening fire, the DOJ said in a statement.
- Allen, Karma; Barr, Luke (January 29, 2019). "New hate crime charges filed against Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect". ABC News.
- Robert Bowers, the man accused of killing 11 people during an attack at a Pittsburgh synagogue, pleaded not guilty Monday to 19 additional federal charges of hate crimes, obstruction of free exercise and discharging a firearm.
The total number of charges against him is now up to 63. In November, he pleaded not guilty to 44 charges, which included the murders.
Bowers also requested trial by jury during his appearance Monday at a federal courthouse in Pittsburgh.
Prosecutors say Bowers, 46, was armed with multiple weapons, including a Colt AR-15 rifle and three handguns, when he opened fire inside the Tree of Life synagogue in the city's Squirrel Hill neighborhood Oct. 27 during a morning service.
The attack left 11 people dead and several others injured, including police officers who were trying to rescue victims and confront Bowers.
Prosecutors said Bowers allegedly talked about his desire to "kill Jews" during the rampage.
- Burke, Minyvonne (February 11, 2019). "Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect pleads not guilty to additional charges". NBC News.
- The 46-year-old man accused of killing 11 people during an attack at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in October 2018 has pleaded not guilty to new charges.
On Monday, Robert Bowers pleaded not guilty to 19 additional federal charges of hate crimes, as well as the obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs and discharging a firearm.
Mr Bowers now faces 63 charges. He pleaded not guilty to 44 charges, some of which included murders, in November.
While appearing at a Pittsburgh federal courthouse on Monday, Bowers also requested a trial by jury.
The prosecution team argue that Bowers used multiple heavy firearms, including a Colt AR-15 and three handguns, when he allegedly went inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighbourhood and opened fire during a morning service on October 27.
- Harvard, Sarah (February 11, 2019). "Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers pleads not guilty to new charges". The Independent.
- The National Rifle Association is trying to export its guns-for-everyone-everywhere agenda overseas — and its global activities have little to do with its mission to protect the constitutional rights of gun owners....
For those manufacturers, cultivating relationships with the American gun lobby is paramount for business. Who, after all, will defend foreign gun manufacturers after their firearms are used in mass shootings here in the United States and ensure that the market for American customers remains unrestricted? The alleged killer at the Pittsburgh synagogue in October relied on three Austrian Glock .357 handguns (along with a Colt AR-15 rifle). The shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary School used a Glock 10mm handgun and a German SIG Sauer P226 9mm handgun as well as an American-made assault weapon to kill 26 people.
So it’s no surprise that in 2008, Beretta, an Italian gun manufacturer, pledged to donate $1 million to the NRA. Belgian FN Herstal gave as much as $200,000 to the lobby in 2013. Glock donated at least $115,000 during 2011, and both Glock and Beretta are part of the lobby’s Golden Ring of Freedom, an elite circle for donors that gift $1 million or more. SIG Sauer is also part of that club.
- Pennsylvania lawmakers held a joint session of the state’s General Assembly to remember the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack.
The memorial on Wednesday came a day after the city’s mayor signed into law new gun control legislation introduced in the aftermath of the Oct. 27 shooting by a white supremacist that killed 11 worshippers....
Under the legislation, the AR-15 assault-style rifle used by the synagogue gunman would be banned.
- Sales, Ben (April 10, 2019). "Pennsylvania lawmakers remember Pittsburgh synagogue shooting attack". Jewish Telegraphic Agency.
- The Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday passed gun-control legislation that bans some assault-style firearms and ammunition five months after a gunman opened fire inside a Squirrel Hill synagogue killing 11 people.
The council voted 6-3 to pass the legislation, which makes it illegal to load, brandish, display, discharge, point or use an assault weapon within city limits.
"We're pretty happy we've gone through the process, we've made changes listening to a number of people," councilman Corey O'Connor said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I think the colleagues who stuck with us were very brave in doing so, and even the colleagues who voted against wanted to a gun conversation."
The legislation also allows courts to temporarily remove weapons from people who appear to pose an "extreme risk" to others or themselves. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who helped author the bill, is expected to sign it.
Authorities described one of the guns used in the Tree of Life synagogue shooting on Oct. 27 -- a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle -- as an assault rifle. The shooter also used three Glock .357 SIG semi-automatic pistols in the shooting that left 11 dead and six victims injured.
- Haynes, Danielle (April 2, 2019). "Pittsburgh passes bill restricting assault-style guns". United Press International.
- The Pittsburgh City Council voted Tuesday to restrict assault weapons months after 11 people were shot and killed with an assault rifle and other guns at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue.
The three bills restrict the use of assault weapons, extended magazines and armor piercing ammunition in public places within the city of Pittsburgh, and allow courts to temporarily take guns away from individuals deemed to pose a significant danger to themselves or others.
"Today Pittsburgh took a stand to say enough is enough," city councilman Corey O'Connor told CNN. He said this "shows that the city of Pittsburgh is willing to fight to protect its residents."
The legislation comes months after the deadliest assault on the Jewish community in US history, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Eleven people were killed and 6 were injured when a man opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. Police said the shooter used a Colt AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 handguns during the attack.
- Sullivan, Kate; Romine, Taylor; Simko-Bednarski, Evan (April 2, 2019). "Pittsburgh city council votes to restrict assault weapons months after Tree of Life synagogue massacre". CNN.