Mass shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue
Robert Bowers, the suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, posted photos on September 29 of his handgun collection to his Gab.com account, which included multiple clips and sights.
On September 20, Bowers posted photos of shooting targets from what he says is from July 2017. Bowers said he was firing at the targets with a Walther PPQ.
Gab is a social media platform that advocates for free speech and puts nearly no restrictions on content. Shortly before the shooting, Bowers posted on his Gab account that he “can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
Jewish people were the victims of more reported hate crimes than any other religious minority in 2016, according to the most recent year of FBI statistics.
In that year, 684 anti-Jewish incidents were reported. That's more than the rest of religiously motivated hate crimes combined, records reveal.
The FBI showed an overall increase in reported hate crimes of more than 4% from 2015 to 2016.
Anti-Islamic (anti-Muslim) crimes accounted for 307, up 19% from the previous year. That was the biggest percentage rise.
You can read about the hate-crime statistics here.
A number of rampage shootings have targeted synagogues, churches and other places of worship in recent years.
- Saturday: A gunman opened fire at the start of Shabbat services at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
- Wednesday: A white man who allegedly killed two people at a Kroger grocery store in Kentucky had tried to enter a predominantly black church nearby minutes before the fatal shooting, police said. He was unable to enter the church.
- November 5, 2017: A gunman opened fire on a small church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 25 people and an unborn child and wounding 20 others.
- June 17, 2015: Dylann Roof, 21, shot and killed nine people inside the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, South Carolina.
- August 5, 2012: Six people were killed and four wounded when a 40-year-old man opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin.
The shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue was an act of anti-Semitism, President Donald Trump said to start a speech at the Future Farmers of America event in Indianapolis.
"This was an anti-Semitic act. You wouldn't think this would be possible in this day and age. But we just don't seem to learn from the past," he said.
He continued: "Anti-Semitism and the widespread persecution of Jews represents one of the ugliest and darkest features of human history. The vile hate-filled poison of anti-Semitism must be condemned and confronted everywhere and anywhere it appears. There must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America or for any form of religious or racial hatred or prejudice."
Trump called for an end to divisions in the country, but argued that moving past divisions doesn’t mean he and others can’t “fight hard” and “say what’s on our mind.”
“Today with one unified voice we condemn the historic evil of anti-Semitism and every other form of evil, and unfortunately, evil comes in many forms,” Trump said.
“We must all rise above the hate, move past our divisions and embrace our common destiny as Americans, and it doesn’t mean we can’t fight hard and be strong and say what’s on our mind, but we also have to remember those elements, we have to remember the elements of love and dignity and respect and so many others,” Trump said.
Ten people were killed in the shooting inside Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday morning, Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor’s Chief of Staff Curt Conrad told CNN.
Five victims are being treated at two Pittsburgh hospitals, said Paul Wood, a spokesman for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. Four victims are being treated at UMPC Presbyterian and one victim is being treated at UMPC Mercy.
One person was treated at Presbyterian and was released.
Robert Bowers, the suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, has an active license to carry a firearm, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation.
Bowers has made at least six known firearm purchases since 1996, the source said.
Below is a photo of suspect Robert Bowers, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation.
Bowers, 46, made anti-Semitic comments during the synagogue shooting, a law enforcement official told CNN. He was taken into custody, police said.