Pittsburgh: At least eight people have been killed so far and several, including three police officers, injured in the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting on Saturday. The suspect, identified as Robert Bowers, has reportedly been taken into custody by the city police after he was injured during an exchange of fire, suggest local US media reports. The 46-year-old suspect is being described as a white male, heavy set, with a beard.
Condemning the fatal shooting, US President Donald Trump called for handing out death penalty to those responsible for mass shootings after several casualties were reported from The Tree of Life, a Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Calling it to be a case of hate crime, the President reiterated that something must be done about hate in America and that armed guards at churches and synagogues are an option.
The US Vice President Mike Pence too condemned the hate crime and said there was no place for violence in America. He tweeted, “What happened in Pittsburgh today was not just criminal – it was evil – an attack on innocent Americans and an assault on our Freedom of Religion. There’s no place in America for violence or anti-Semitism, and this evil must end.”
The suspect who opened fire in the Pittsburgh synagogue reportedly told the police that he didn’t want any of the Jews inside to live. According to the KDKA Radio station, the gunman walked into the building and yelled, “all Jews must die”.
The synagogue is located on the corner of Wilkens and Shady Avenues. As per several reports, the gunman opened fire on a prayer service as well as on the responding officers.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon strongly condemned the shooting. Danon said, “We all feel the pain of the murder of eight Jews at a Shabbat service. We will stand together like a rock against hatred and against those who try to harm Jews all over the world.”
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf also condemned the fatal incident and described it as a tragedy.
“The shooting in Pittsburgh this morning is an absolute tragedy… These senseless acts of violence are not who we are as Americans. My thoughts right now are focused on the victims, their families and making sure law enforcement has every resource they need. We cannot accept this violence as normal,” said Wolf.
Calling it an act of hatred and pledging support to the Jewish community, Advisor to POTUS, Ivanka Trump said, “America is stronger than the acts of a depraved bigot and anti-semite. All good Americans stand with the Jewish people to oppose acts of terror & share the horror, disgust & outrage over the massacre in Pittsburgh. We must unite against hatred & evil. God bless those affected.”
Several others also condemned the incident while extending their condolences. Pittsburgh Penguins said, “We are incredibly saddened to hear of this morning’s tragedy at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. We send our thoughts and prayers to all those affected.”
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh Steelers said, “We send our thoughts and prayers to those affected by this morning’s tragedy in Pittsburgh. We will continue to pray for everyone involved.” Pittsburg Police, CA said, “Sending our love, thoughts, prayers, and sincerest condolences to those affected by this despicable, hateful act, especially to the three. Officers who were shot and to all the first responders.”
On November 5, 2017, a former US serviceman with an assault rifle killed 26 people and wounded 20 in a rural Texas church during Sunday services.