Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect appears in court

By Veronica Rocha and Meg Wagner, CNN
3:18 p.m. ET, October 29, 2018
3:16 p.m. ET, October 29, 2018

Our live coverage of suspected gunman Robert Bowers' court appearance has ended. Scroll through the posts below to see how it unfolded or read more about it here.

2:01 p.m. ET, October 29, 2018

US attorney: "We have a team of prosecutors working hard to ensure that justice is done"

US Attorney Scott Brady made a brief statement after the synagogue shooting suspect's court appearance today.

Brady said suspect Robert Bowers will remain in custody without bond. His next court appearance is set for Thursday.

"Our investigation of these hate crimes continues," Brady said. "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victim's families and with the community. And rest assured, we have a team of prosecutors working hard to ensure that justice is done."

Watch more:

2:08 p.m. ET, October 29, 2018

The suspect will be back in court on Thursday

From CNN's Sarah Jorgensen and Jean Casarez

Synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers just had an initial hearing.

Bowers entered the courtroom with what appeared to look like bandages on his leg. He looked straight ahead and didn’t appear to look into the courtroom gallery.

After his handcuffs were removed, Bowers took a few minutes to read and sign documents.

When asked by Judge Robert C. Mitchell if he was the defendant, Bowers said, “Yes, I am.”

A public defender representing Bowers waived a reading of the criminal complaints against him, and waived any issues concerning bail.

Bowers will remain in custody without bail until his preliminary hearing, which is scheduled at 10 a.m. ET Thursday.

Watch:

1:41 p.m. ET, October 29, 2018

Suspect Robert Bowers enters court in wheelchair

From CNN’s Sarah Jorgensen

Robert Bowers, the suspected gunman behind the synagogue shooting that killed 11 people, has entered federal court in Pennsylvania in a wheelchair for his initial hearing.

Bowers is wearing a blue shirt and in handcuffs. Court staff removed the handcuffs briefly so he could sign paperwork, and they re-handcuffed him afterward.

Bowers faces 29 federal charges, some of which could be punishable by death.

1:34 p.m. ET, October 29, 2018

Federal prosecutors flag shooting suspect is a flight risk and a danger to community

From CNN’s Jean Casarez and Sarah Jorgensen

Federal prosecutors filed a “request for detention” Monday for Pittsburgh shooting suspect Robert Bowers Monday, according to court documents obtained by CNN.

According to the court documents, Bowers could be be a flight risk and a danger to the community. The court documents also cite the serious risk that he will “obstruct or attempt to obstruct justice, or threaten, injure, intimidate or attempt to threaten, injure, or intimidate, a prospective witness or juror."

Bowers, 46, of suburban Baldwin, surrendered to authorities after Saturday morning's shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. He made anti-Semitic statements during the shooting and targeted Jews on social media, according to a federal law enforcement official.

Bowers faces 29 charges in a rampage that left the historic Jewish neighborhood of Squirrel Hill and the rest of the nation stunned.

1:15 p.m. ET, October 29, 2018

Prosecutors have started the process to seek the death penalty

From CNN's Susannah Cullinane and Joe Sterling

The US attorney based in Pittsburgh has started the process to seek the death penalty for the man accused of killing 11 worshippers at a synagogue Saturday in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of the city.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions must ultimately give the OK for pursuing the death penalty against the alleged gunman, Robert Bowers, the Justice Department said. The attack was the deadliest against Jews in US history.

"At this point in our investigation, we're treating it as a hate crime," Scott Brady, the US attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, said Sunday.

When asked if the shooting could be considered an instance of domestic terrorism, Brady said there would need to be evidence the suspect tried to propagate a particular ideology through violence.

12:49 p.m. ET, October 29, 2018

The synagogue shooting suspect is due in court today

From CNN's Susannah Cullinane and Joe Sterling

Shooting suspect Robert Bowers is accused of opening fire at Tree of Life synagogue.

He is expected to appear make his first court appearance in Pittsburgh at 1:30 p.m. ET Monday.

Bowers, 46, of Baldwin, was taken into custody after a shootout with police and was treated at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh. Bowers was released at 9:45 a.m. on Monday morning, a spokeswoman for Allegheny Health Network said.

Bowers faces 29 federal charges, some of which are punishable by death. Included among them are 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder and multiple counts of two hate crimes: obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death and obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer.

"They're committing genocide to my people," Bowers told police during the shooting, according to an FBI affidavit. "I just want to kill Jews."

He has also been charged with 11 state offenses, including attempted homicide and aggravated assault.

Bowers could face the death penalty if he is convicted of a hate crime.