Pittsburgh Shooting Suspect to Face Court Prosecutors May Pursue Death Penalty
PITTSBURGH &mdash As Robert Bowers, the man accused of killing 11 congregants in a hate-filled attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue, prepared to make his first court look on Monday, survivors and relatives of the victims were nevertheless struggling to come to terms with the enormity of the loss.
The attack ended when the gunman, wounded and crawling on his knees, surrendered to police officers. He &ldquowanted all Jews to die,&rdquo he told a SWAT officer then, the authorities said, simply because Jews &ldquowere committing genocide against his people.&rdquo
The victims of the attack, beloved members of a single of the nation&rsquos important Jewish communities, were mainly in their 70s and 80s.
Mr. Bowers was scheduled to seem ahead of a federal judge on Monday at 1:30 p.m. Federal officials have charged him with 29 criminal counts, included obstructing the totally free workout of religious beliefs &mdash a hate crime, which can carry the death penalty, a sentence that federal authorities stated Sunday they intended to pursue. He also faces state charges.
[Read a lot more about the shooting suspect, who often reposted anti-Semitic content material on social media.]
Mr. Bowers, a 46-year-old with no criminal record whose social media feed was riddled with anti-Semitic rants, is accused of carrying out a massacre in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood, the heart of Jewish life in Pittsburgh that is property to about a quarter of the city&rsquos Jewish households. It was 1 of the worst attacks against the Jewish community in the United States in decades.
On Monday, survivors have been nonetheless coming to terms with what occurred. Till two months ago, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life synagogue seldom carried his cellphone with him on the sabbath, the holiest day of the week on which some Jewish folks avoid technologies and electronics. But in August, a security specialist told him that &ldquoit was a different world&rdquo and that he needed to have his phone nearby.
Since of that training, the rabbi was the initial particular person to contact the police on Saturday. He stayed on the telephone for 20 minutes, till SWAT evacuated him.
&ldquoI learned a number of critical issues from him,&rdquo Rabbi Myers stated about the security education in August in an interview on Monday on ABC&rsquos &ldquoGood Morning America.&rdquo &ldquoHe said, &lsquoRabbi, it&rsquos a various planet and you require to carry it.&rsquo I&rsquom so grateful for his presence and teaching me.&rdquo
Rabbi Myers stated that about five minutes soon after the Saturday service began at 9:45 a.m., he heard a loud sound in the lobby on the floor beneath. It sounded like a coat rack had fallen, he recalled. But then another loud bang rang out.
&ldquoIt was apparent to me,&rdquo he said, &ldquothat it was not the sound of a piece of metal falling down.&rdquo He added, &ldquoit was rapid fire.&rdquo
Rabbi Myers said about a dozen folks had been in the sanctuary when the firing started, and he yelled for everybody to drop to the ground and keep quiet. He started evacuating the congregants, beginning with a handful of individuals at the front of the sanctuary. He moved them to safety. There were still eight folks still in the space, all in the rear, but it was as well late to help them, he said.
The gunfire was obtaining louder. The gunman was moving closer to the sanctuary.
&ldquoThere was no way for me to get back,&rdquo he said.
Seven of the eight men and women were killed, he mentioned. The particular person who survived, a lady, was wounded but anticipated to live.
&ldquoI reside with that, the sounds that are seared in my brain for the rest of my life,&rdquo Rabbi Myers said on CNN. &ldquoI have a congregation to take care of. I have households that require me. I have funerals to strategy.&rdquo
On Sunday evening the Justice Department mentioned that the United States lawyer for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady, had initiated the approval approach for looking for the death penalty against Mr. Bowers. The ultimate selection rested with Lawyer General Jeff Sessions.
All capital punishment cases go by means of the Justice Department&rsquos capital case section, which was created in 1998 to aid the attorney general decide when to use capital punishment.
The section&rsquos half a dozen or so prosecutors have worked with United States lawyer&rsquos offices on prosecutions like that of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one particular of the Boston Marathon bombers, and Dylann S. Roof, who murdered nine folks at an African-American church in South Carolina.
Published at Mon, 29 Oct 2018 13:54:05 +0000