PITTSBURGH – Eight people have been confirmed dead and at least six were injured in a shooting on Saturday at a synagogue in the northeastern US state of Pennsylvania, according to local media.
The gunman is said to have yelled “All Jews must die” as he entered the Tree of Life Synagogue, a Conservative congregation in Pittsburgh city and began firing during a baby naming ceremony, the CBS Pittsburgh reported.
Tree of Life Congregation is a Reform congregation affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism. A service was taking place at the time of the shooting, according to the synagogue’s official website.
US media outlet CBS reported that seven people were confirmed dead, and that two police officers had been shot, while Fox put the death toll at four.
Law enforcement officials identified the gunman as 46-year-old Robert Bowers. He was armed with a rifle and two handguns, according to reports.
US President Donald Trump hit out at what he called “hate” in America following the attack.”It’s a terrible, terrible thing what’s going on with hate in our country frankly, and all over the world,” Trump told reporters as he left for a series of campaign events in Indiana and Illinois.
Events in Pittsburgh are far more devastating than originally thought. Spoke with Mayor and Governor to inform them that the Federal Government has been, and will be, with them all the way. I will speak to the media shortly and make further statement at Future Farmers of America.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2018
“Something has to be done,” said the president. “When people do this, they should get the death penalty.”
The tree-lined residential neighborhood of Squirrel Hill, about 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, has a huge Jewish population.
It is the latest shooting incident in the United States, where gunmen regularly cause mass casualties and firearms are linked to more than 30,000 deaths annually.