Pittsburgh shooting: Suspect expressed hatred of Jews

Pittsburgh shooting: Suspect expressed hatred of Jews

As Pittsburgh continues to reel from a tragic weekend, a Muslim-led effort has begun a crowdfunded campaign to raise money for the victims of Saturday's synagogue shooting.

The suspect in Saturday's mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue is a 46-year-old local man named Robert Bowers who posted virulent antisemitic messages on social media filled with slurs and conspiracy theories. All of them were middle-aged or over, including two brothers and a 97-year-old woman.

"The U.S. attorney's office has charged [the gunman] with 29 federal counts".

Bowers, who authorities said used an AR-15 rifle and three handguns in the attack, told an officer while he was being treated for his injuries "that he wanted all Jews to die and also that they (Jews) were committing genocide to his people", a Pittsburgh police affidavit said. Four police officers are among the wounded, according to the Associated Press.

Vanessa Ressler was taken aback Sunday when her 8-year-old daughter Micah asked her a very hard question - "Mommy, could that happen here?"

Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood, Pa., the brother of Bedford resident Bill Rabinowitz, was gunned down in the Saturday morning attack at the Tree of Life Synagogue, Rev. John Gibbons, senior minister of First Parish in Bedford, confirmed Sunday. "It's incredible to see the amount of people who came out because I was feeling really alone and completely separated from the community that gave me my Jewish identity, and here I feel so uplifted and supported by completely random strangers I met on the Internet".

"He is one of the finest people I've ever met", said Dr. Kenneth Ciesilka, in the article.

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The Tree of Life Synagogue, whose congregation was founded more than 150 years ago, is located in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood that is historically the heart of Jewish life in greater Pittsburgh. "This time it was us, but we can't tolerate hate in our country here, or anywhere".

Bowers had made many anti-Semitic posts online, including one early on Saturday.

Mr Bowers was taken to a hospital where he was listed in fair condition with multiple gunshot wounds.

The pair exchanged gunfire, Mr Jones said, and Mr Bowers re-entered the building before a SWAT team arrived.

"And even if you weren't friends with them, you know them", she continued. The groups have partnered with the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh in order to disburse the funds once the fundraiser ends. If they had some kind of protection within the temple it could have been a much better situation.

Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, told MPR News on Saturday that while the attack happened hundreds of miles from Minnesota, it hits close to home in the state's Jewish community.

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