11 people were killed on Saturday morning (October 27) during a bris at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the largest anti-Semitic act of violence ever committed in the United States. Six people, including four police officers, were injured in the attack. The shooter, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, walked into the synagogue and screamed "All Jews must die" as he opened fire on the congregants. As he attempted to leave, he was engaged by Pittsburgh police officers.
Bowers shot two of the officers and retreated back into the house of worship. A SWAT team entered the building and engaged him on the third floor. Two SWAT officers were hit during the ensuing gun battle. Bowers was shot and taken to the hospital, where he is reportedly in fair condition.
"It's a very horrific crime scene. It’s one of the worst that I've seen," Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said. "It's very bad."
Bowers has been charged with 29 counts by federal officials Those charges include 11 counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death; 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder during a crime of violence; four counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer and three counts of use and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence.
The 46-year-old shooter has a prolific history of posting anti-Semitic comments on social media. He mainly used Gab, which is a Twitter-like platform that does not censor the content people post, to spew hateful messages.
President Donald Trump responded to the mass shooting on Twitter saying that "all of America is in mourning" following the horrific act of violence.