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14:46, 28 October 2018

Pittsburgh shooting: Victims of synagogue attack named


Pittsburgh shooting: Victims of synagogue attack named

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The names of the 11 folks killed in Saturday’s attack on a synagogue in Pittsburgh have been released, with the oldest aged 97.

Two brothers and a husband and wife were amongst those killed. Six people had been injured, such as four policemen.

The suspect, Robert Bowers, 46, is in custody and faces 29 criminal counts in what is believed to be the worst anti-Semitic attack in current US history.

Mayor Bill Peduto mentioned this was the “darkest day of Pittsburgh’s history”.

President Donald Trump has referred to as the attack a “wicked act of mass murder”.

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Who are the victims?

The ages of the 11 victims ranged from 54 to 97. They are:

  • Joyce Feinberg, 75
  • Richard Gottfried, 65
  • Rose Mallinger, 97
  • Jerry Rabinowitz, 66
  • Cecil Rosenthal, 59
  • David Rosenthal, 54, brother of Cecil
  • Bernice Simon, 84
  • Sylvan Simon, 86, husband of Bernice
  • Daniel Stein, 71
  • Melvin Wax, 88
  • Irving Younger, 69

What is the newest from Pittsburgh?

The names had been read out by officials at a press briefing on Sunday morning.

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Other details from the briefing:

  • The gun suspect employed three Glock 57 handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle
  • He produced statements regarding genocide and a want to kill Jewish men and women
  • 22 of the 29 counts against the defendant are punishable by death
  • The suspect is in fair situation with numerous gunshot wounds. There is absolutely nothing to indicate any accomplices
  • The suspect’s property and car have been searched
  • The suspect will seem in court on Monday
  • The households are in shock and the media are asked to give them space
  • There are further patrols about sensitive regions in the city
  • 1 injured officer was released from hospital on Saturday, another need to be released on Sunday
  • Mayor Peduto mentioned: “To the victims’ households and friends – we will be right here to assist you through this horrific episode – the darkest day of Pittsburgh’s history. We as a society are better than this, we know that hatred will never win out.”

What are the charges?

The 29 charges have been announced in a statement issued by the US Attorney’s Office of the Western District of Pennsylvania:

  • Eleven counts of obstruction of exercising of religious beliefs resulting in death
  • Eleven counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence
  • Four counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer
  • Three counts of use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence

How did the shooting unfold?

On Saturday morning, worshippers had gathered at the Tree of Life synagogue for a infant naming ceremony for the duration of the Sabbath.

Squirrel Hill has a single of the biggest Jewish populations in Pennsylvania and this would have been the synagogue’s busiest day of the week.

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Police said they received 1st calls about an active shooter at 09:54 local time (13:54 GMT), and sent officers to the scene a minute later.

According to reports, Mr Bowers, a white male, entered the constructing in the course of the morning service armed with an assault rifle and 3 handguns.

The gunman had already shot dead 11 individuals and was leaving the synagogue following about 20 minutes when he encountered Swat officers and exchanged fire with them, FBI agent Robert Jones said.

The attacker then moved back into the building to attempt to hide from the police.

He surrendered soon after a shootout.

The crime scene was “horrific”, Pittsburgh’s Public Security Director Wendell Hissrich told reporters. “A single of the worst I’ve noticed, and I’ve [worked] on some plane crashes. It really is really undesirable.”

What do we know about the gunman?

US media mentioned he had shouted “All Jews must die” as he carried out the attack.

Social media posts by someone with the name Robert Bowers had been also reported to be complete of anti-Semitic comments.

FBI special agent Bob Jones told a press conference that Mr Bowers did not seem to be known to authorities prior to the attack.

‘Grief and hurt’

Gary O’Donoghue, BBC News, Pittsburgh

In the dwindling light, and with the cold autumn rain falling, hundreds gathered in front of the 6th Presbyterian church just a couple of streets away from the Tree of Life Synagogue.

Holding their candles, they sang the Jewish prayer of healing.

The elders in the neighborhood had wanted to wait a day prior to holding the vigil, but the young individuals mentioned no – they wanted an immediate possibility to share their grief and voice their hurt.

Fifteen-year-old Sophia Levin declared that she was a diverse Jew today to the one she was yesterday. Anti-Semitism, she stated, had been something she thought happened elsewhere and in earlier occasions but now she knew it was appropriate here, proper now.

Some of these young individuals have been involved in the student gun manage movement that sprang up following the Parkland shooting earlier this year.

1 of them, Rebecca Glickman, told the crowd that gun control was needed now much more than ever.

She told me that an anti-Semite with a gun is more hazardous than an anti-Semite without a gun, so that is a great location to begin.

What has been President Trump’s reaction?

He described the gunman as a “maniac” and recommended the US ought to “stiffen up our laws of the death penalty”.

“These people must spend the ultimate value. This has to stop,” he said.

Mr Trump said he would go to Pittsburgh quickly and had ordered US flags at government buildings to be flown at half-mast till 31 October.

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He added that the shooting had “small to do” with US gun laws. “If they had protection inside, perhaps it could have been a distinct scenario.”

Former US President Barack Obama voiced a diverse position on the ongoing gun law debate, tweeting: “We have to stop producing it so straightforward for those who want to harm the innocent to get their hands on a gun.”

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What about other reaction?

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf mentioned in a statement that the incident was an “absolute tragedy” and that such acts of violence could not be accepted as “standard”.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the head of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a Jewish non-governmental organisation that fights anti-Semitism, stated he was “devastated”.

“We believe this is the deadliest attack on the Jewish neighborhood in the history of the United States,” he mentioned in a statement.

Planet leaders also condemned the attack, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who mentioned he was “heartbroken and appalled”, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said: “We all have to stand up against anti-Semitism, everywhere.”


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Published at Sun, 28 Oct 2018 14:06:27 +0000


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