Quantcast
Connect with us

Suspect Robert Bowers due in court as Pittsburgh synagogue reels from massacre

Published

on

A man charged with shooting 11 worshipers to death at a Pittsburgh synagogue was due to make his first court appearance on Monday as more details of the attack emerged and the congregation struggled to come to terms with the deadliest ever attack on America’s Jewish community.

“I think people are in various stages of trauma, mourning, disbelief, shock all rolled into one,” Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life Synagogue told ABC’s “Good Morning America” on Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Robert Bowers, 46, who has a history of posting anti-Semitic material online, has been charged with 29 criminal counts, including the violation of U.S. civil rights laws in what federal prosecutors say was a hate crime.

Several of the charges can be punishable by the death penalty.

Bowers is accused of storming into the Tree of Life temple in Squirrel Hill, the heart of Pittsburgh’s close-knit Jewish community, yelling “All Jews must die” as he opened fire on members of three congregations holding Sabbath prayer services there on Saturday morning.

According to a document filed at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, three handguns and an AR-15 rifle were recovered at the scene.

ADVERTISEMENT

The complaint quoted Bowers saying to one law enforcement officer, in substance, “they’re committing genocide to my people.”

“I just want to kill Jews.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Bowers is due to make his appearance in court on Monday afternoon.

A police report on the shooting rampage described an exchange of fire outside the synagogue between police officers and Bowers, who retreated inside. Police entered the building and during a gun battle, Bowers was shot multiple times and critically wounded, and a police officer was also shot a number of times.

Jeffrey Cohen, president of the Tree of Life Synagogue, told ABC on Monday he went to the hospital because he wanted to see the man accused of the shootings.

ADVERTISEMENT

“He’s taken into my hospital and he’s shouting, ‘I want to kill all the Jews,’ and the first three people who are taking care of him were Jewish,” Cohen said.

In addition to the 11 mostly elderly worshipers who were killed, six people, including four police officers who confronted the gunman, were wounded before the suspect surrendered. Two of the surviving victims remained hospitalized in critical condition.

About 2,500 people attended an interfaith memorial service for the victims late on Sunday on the University of Pittsburgh campus.

ADVERTISEMENT

The dead included two brothers in their 50s, David and Cecil Rosenthal, a married couple in their 80s, Sylvan and Bernice Simon, and 97-year-old Rose Mallinger, the oldest of the victims.

Another was Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, a family physician who initially escaped the attack only to be killed when he returned to render aid to the wounded, according to a Wall Street Journal op-ed column by Pittsburgh carpet salesman Lou Weiss, who knew five of the victims personally.

The killings rocked the Squirrel Hill community, an enclave that encompasses several synagogues and Jewish religious schools, and sparked security alerts at places of worship across the country.

ADVERTISEMENT

Gab.com, the website where the suspected gunman posted anti-Semitic views, said on Sunday it was offline for a period of time after being asked by its domain provider to move to another registrar.

The move comes after GoDaddy Inc asked Gab to change the domain, while PayPal Holdings Inc, Stripe Inc and Joynet Inc blocked the website.

The massacre also took on political overtones as some complained that the confrontational, nationalistic rhetoric of U.S. President Donald Trump has encouraged right-wing extremists and fed a surge in activity by hate groups.

ADVERTISEMENT

The United States is just over a week away from midterm elections that will decide the balance of power in Congress.

Trump, who branded Saturday’s shooting an act of pure evil and called on Americans to rise above hatred, was already facing similar criticism after pipe bombs were mailed last week to some of his most prominent political adversaries. The targets, mostly Democrats, included former U.S. President Barack Obama.

Cesar Sayoc, 56, a strip club DJ and part-time pizza delivery man whose van was pasted with pro-Trump images and slogans disparaging the political left, was arrested in the pipe bomb case on Friday and faced his first court appearance on Monday in Florida.

ADVERTISEMENT

(Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Nick Zieminski)

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and legal efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. And unlike other news outlets, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from billionaires and corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click to donate by check.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



Report typos and corrections to: [email protected]. Send news tips to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

RNC’s Ronna McDaniels scorched for calling Elizabeth Warren a ‘liar’: ‘Every word Trump utters is a lie’

Published

on

The Republican National Committee chairwoman faced swift backlash for calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) a liar for claiming Native American ancestry.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly slurred Warren as "Pocahontas" to mock claims about her background, and the Democratic presidential candidate apologized Monday to Native American tribal leaders for any harm she had caused by promoting DNA test results to prove native ancestry generations ago.

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel gleefully mocked the Democratic presidential candidate.

Elizabeth Warren by the numbers:

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s rabid fans will back his racist lies — but some might not appreciate him wrecking the economy

Published

on

Donald Trump's propaganda apparatus is mighty — much more resilient and effective than any of his business endeavors ever were in the decades before he ran for president. While most Americans haven't bought into Trump's lies — which are up to an average of 13 a day — his base of supporters, who have way more power, in our undemocratic system, than their actual numbers justify, gobble up every ridiculous assertion emanating from the Oval Office.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Paranoid’ GOP lawmaker who is obsessed with ‘Biblical War’ sought GPS devices to track adversaries: report

Published

on

Republican state Rep. Matt Shea of Spokane, Washington reportedly sought GPS devices and other spycraft to use against his political adversaries.

The revelations are part of a trove of emails obtained by The Spokesman-Review.

The paper said that Shea, who has connections to the Christian identity movement, believes that "Muslims, journalists and critics of all political stripes are 'supporting tyranny' if they don’t support his view that the United States is 'a Christian nation.'"

Continue Reading
 
 

Thank you for whitelisting Raw Story!

As a special thank you, from now until August 31st, we're offering you a discounted rate of $5.99/month to subscribe and get ad-free access. We're honored to have you as a reader. Thank you. :) —Elias, Membership Coordinator
LEARN MORE
close-link
close-image