Eleven people were killed inside Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday and four officers were wounded responding to the attack and engaging the shooter. The suspect—identified as 48-year-old Robert Bowers—was also wounded and is in custody. The extent of his injuries have not been released.
The wounds suffered by the officers are reportedly not life threatening. One officer has been treated and released at a local hospial, according to the Post-Gazette.
There were no children among the fatalities, authorities said.
Police sources told KDKA the gunman walked into the Tree of Life Synagogue and yelled, “All Jews must die.” He then opened fire. The suspect was reportedly armed with a semi-automatic rifle and three handguns.
The initial call to 911 was made around 9:54 a.m. and officers were dispatched to the scene within a minute. When officers arrived, the gunman reportedly shot at them, forcing officers to use their vehicles as a shield. The gunman was said to be exiting the building when he encountered a uniformed officer and went back inside. Eventually, he was pinned down on the third floor by tactical officers and apprehended.
The suspect was taken into custody about 20 minutes after the initial call to 911.
At a press conference Saturday afternoon, Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said the wounded officers were patrol officers and two members of the SWAT team.
The FBI has labeled the attack as a hate crime, and during a public address President Donald Trump called the shooting a “wicked act of mass murder” that “is pure evil, hard to believe and frankly something that is unimaginable.”
Trump said that “the hearts of all Americans are filled with grief, following the monstrous killing.”
Trump said that he will be going to Pittsburgh in the wake of the shooting.
The Anti-Defamation League called the shooting “likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.”
Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that the Department of Justice will file hate crimes and other criminal charges, including charges that could lead to the death penalty.
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