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Cecil and David Rosenthal, the brothers killed in the Pittsburgh shooting, were members of ACHIEVA, a center in Pittsburgh for the disabled, and were recipients of the center’s residential and employment services.
“Cecil’s laugh was infectious. David was so kind and had such a gentle spirit,” said Chris Schopf, ACHIEVA’s Vice President of Residential Support.
Bernice and Sylvan Simon, the elderly married couple killed on Saturday, were “kind, generous and good-hearted individuals,” their neighbor Jo Stepaniak said.
Bernice, 84, and Sylvan, 86, were from Wilkinsburg and had lived next door to Stepaniak for close to 40 years.
They were the “sweetest people you could imagine,” Stepaniak said.
“They wanted to give back to people and be kind. They always tried to look on the good side and help out in the community, here and in the Jewish community. They were loving and giving and kind, gracious and dignified,” she said.
“These are two people who should be memorialized,” Stepaniak said. “I want to focus on them.”
Jerry Rabinowitz, a 66-year-old victim of the synagogue shooting, was a primary care physician in Pittsburgh for many years.
“He was a kind, joyful man. I always enjoyed sharing patients with him because he liked to teach and did it with a smile,” said Dr. Adam Rothschild, who worked with Rabinowitz during his residency. “We were both active in our synagogues and we always had a lot to talk about.”
Rabinowitz’s nephew, Avishai Ostrin, posted a tribute to his uncle on Facebook and focused on his smile and his fondness for bowties.
Tim Hindes sat down shortly after the shooting and began to doodle a revamped Pittsburgh Steelers logo, with the Star of David substituting for the team’s yellow star-like design. It’s paired with the phrase “Stronger than Hate.”
The image has quickly become a symbol of solidarity and strength after the deadly attack.
Hindes said he was inspired by the shooting and by a friend being the victim of anti-Semitic comments a few days ago.
“Collectively, those events … drove me to make a message,” Hindes told CNN. “I wanted it to be of resiliency and hope. It was private at first, but friends urged me to make the post public, as it resonated with them.”
In a Facebook post, Hindes explained what the symbol meant to him.
“Before it was the logo of a globally popular football team, the three diamonds were the seal of a product which helped develop the foundation of many cities across the globe – steel. Like Pittsburgh and its residents, steel is strong,” he posted to Facebook.
Hindes said he doesn’t want credit or accolades for the picture.
“Use it. Share it. This is an image for Pittsburgh and those who love Pittsburgh,” he said.
Shay Khatiri woke up on his Jewish friend’s couch to the devastating news. A mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue had left 11 people dead and several others injured.
“She told me what happened and she was just broken,” Khatiri told CNN. “Seeing how upset she was, I wanted to donate to the congregation.”
But Khatiri, a 29-year-old Iranian immigrant and graduate student in Washington, DC, didn’t have much to give.
“I thought to myself, I could donate $18 or $36 – something like that. But that wouldn’t make a huge impact,” he said. “If I did something like this, maybe it could go viral and have a huge impact,” he added.
By “this,” he meant “start a GoFundMe campaign.” So far, it’s raised more than $300,000.
You can read more at the link below:
Investigators have finished their search of the shooting suspect’s car, according to an FBI spokeswoman.
FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Bob Jones had said at a news conference Sunday morning that authorities were planning to search the vehicle, and that they had already searched Robert Bowers’ house in Baldwin Saturday.
Investigators continue Sunday afternoon to search for surveillance video that could be helpful in piecing together the moments before and during the attack, the spokeswoman said.
On Sunday morning, Jones did not say that investigators had recovered any video.
“We’re attempting to see if there were surveillance cameras in position where we could capture footage, but we’ll look at the neighborhood and try to find everything we can,” he said.
FBI evidence response teams from multiple field offices are continuing to work at the synagogue. Jones described it as a “large, complex crime scene” that could take up to a week to process.
The FBI would not discuss anything recovered from the search warrants executed at Bowers’ home or vehicle.
Shannon Haldeman of the local non-profit organization Scent with Love delivered flowers to the Tree of Life synagogue on Sunday and took a photo of the growing memorial outside the site of the shooting.
Haldeman told CNN that Scent with Love picks up flowers from wedding and events and delivers them to places in need around Pittsburgh.
“These arrangements were picked up from two different weddings last evening by myself and my volunteers and we delivered them this morning,” Haldeman said.
Rose Mallinger may have been 97 years old, but she was still “spry” and “vibrant,” said Tree of Life member Robin Friedman.
Mallinger was the oldest victim in the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday. She had been a secretary at the synagogue’s school office decades ago, and she regularly attended Tree of Life services with her daughter.
“She was just the sweetest. A lovely lady,” Friedman said. “She had to know everybody there, (whether) old, young. Always a hello, always a hug, always a smile.”
Friedman also said that Cecil and David Rosenthal were a constant presence at the Tree of Life synagogue.
“They lived and died there. They came to everything. Sports nights, annual meetings. They were always there in suit and tie,” she said. “They won multiple awards and citations for their devotion, for their generosity of their time, for their volunteerism, anything you asked them to do.”
Jerry Rabinowitz, one of the victims of the shooting, was a family doctor in the community. He had treated Susan Blackman and her three kids, Blackman told CNN.
“I can’t imagine the world without him,” she said.
“He was like a member of the family, a member of the extended family,” she said. “Dr. Jerry was just somebody who, when you see him, your eyes light up.”
Suzan Hauptman said that she got to know Rabinowitz when he treated her father.
“He wasn’t just my dad’s doctor, he was there for me, he was there for my mom, my brother. He was our doctor too,” she said. “He just did it all.”
Cecil and David Rosenthal, brothers who died in the shooting, both always greeted people when they came in to worship, Hauptman said.
“They were like the ambassadors because they were always there,” she said. “And they will always be there in our hearts.”
Laura Berman, a cantor at nearby Temple Sinai, said that she grew up in Pittsburgh but then moved away. When she moved back to Pittsburgh, Cecil was a reminder that she was home.
“He was always just a sweet, sweet gentle soul who was friendly to everybody, helpful to everybody,” she said.
Cecil, with an ever-smiling face, was the kindest soul you would ever meet, Berman said.
“He was one of those embodiments of the community. Just open, warm, smiling, wanting to help, and just in his beautiful simplicity, that’s who he was,” she said.
Passers-by at the Western Wall in Jerusalem reacted Sunday to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting with sadness and support for the victims.
Aviv Herzlich, tour guide: “I was shocked to hear the news. I always had this illusion that Jews in America can feel safe. Actually we were jealous in Israel to see the successful and safe communities in the States and now it seems that all over the world Jews are not so safe, apparently also in America.
Israel Rosenberg: “We are all one nation and what makes us different is that we are really one spirit together. We are one soul so when someone gets hurt in America, everyone in Israel feels it into their soul because we are one connected soul.”
Yafit Dana, from Tel Aviv: “It was very unfortunate to hear the news, it was very sad to hear that you have anti-Semitism still in the US these days.”
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto was asked if, in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, it was time to talk about removing guns from American society.
“We’re dealing with irrational behavior. There is no way that you can rationalize a person walking into a synagogue during services and taking the lives of 11 people,” he said.
“We shouldn’t be trying to find ways to minimize the dangers that occur from irrational behavior. We should be working to eliminate irrational behavior and the empowerment of people who would seek to cause this type of carnage from continuing.
Watch his comments below:
The Pittsburgh synagogue shooting is being prosecuted as a hate crime, but not as domestic terrorism.
US Attorney Scott Brady explained why: “The distinction between a hate crime and domestic terrorism is a hate crime is where an individual is animated by a hatred or certain animus toward a person of a certain ethnicity or religious faith.
“It becomes domestic terrorism where there’s an ideology that that person is then also trying to propagate through violence. We continue to see where that line is. But for now, at this place in our investigation, we’re treating it as a hate crime and charging it as such.”
Karl Williams, chief medical examiner for Allegheny County, provided the ages, names and locations of the 11 people killed in Saturday’s shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
The victims were between 54 and 97 years old and included a pair of brothers and a married couple.
- Joyce Fienberg, 75, Oakland neighborhood, Pittsburgh
- Richard Gottfried, 65, Ross Township
- Rose Mallinger, 97, Squirrel Hill neighborhood, Pittsburgh
- Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, Edgewood Borough
- Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and David Rosenthal, 54, brothers, Squirrel Hill
- Bernice and Sylvan Simon, 84 and 86, married, Wilkinsburg
- Daniel Stein, 71, Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh
- Melvin Wax, 88, Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh
- Irving Younger, 69, Mount Washington neighborhood, Pittsburgh
Investigators believe the suspected Pittsburgh synagogue shooter, Robert Bowers, acted alone in Saturday’s attack that killed 11 people, according to Robert Jones with the FBI.
Jones says there is no evidence to suggest Bowers had an accomplice.
Investigators recovered three Glock handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle at the Tree of Life synagogue, US Attorney Scott Brady said.
Bowers is accused of killing 11 people and injuring two in his shooting spree at the synagogue. In addition, four police officers responding to the scene were injured during the exchange of gunfire.
Jones praised as heroic the actions of police and SWAT officers who responded.
“Had he made it out of that facility, there is a strong possibility that additional violence would have occurred,” he said.
Bowers is scheduled to make his first court appearance on Monday at 1:30 p.m.
A uniquely Pittsburgh symbol of solidarity and strength is making its way around the internet in the aftermath of Saturday’s deadly attack at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
The image is a revamped Pittsburgh Steelers logo, with the Star of David substituting for the team’s yellow star-like design. It’s paired with the phrase “Stronger than Hate.”
The Steelers host the Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. ET today, and Steelers President Art Rooney II said that there will be a moment of silence and prayer prior to the game.
“Our hearts are heavy, but we must stand against anti-Semitism and hate crimes of any nature and come together to preserve our values and our community,” Rooney said.
The Pittsburgh synagogue suspect told a SWAT officer that he wanted all Jews to die and that Jews were committing genocide to his people, according a police criminal complaint filed Saturday evening.
Robert Bowers faces 11 counts of criminal homicide, six counts of attempted homicide and six counts of aggravated assault.
He killed 11 people – 3 women and 8 men – before he was wounded in a shootout with SWAT officers and taken into custody, the complaint states.
Just 3 months ago, the Pittsburgh synagogue’s rabbi lamented gun violence and failure to tackle it.
Tree of Life Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers wrote: “Despite continuous calls for sensible gun control and mental health care, our elected leaders in Washington knew that it would fade away in time,” His blog post was entitled “We Deserve Better.”
The names of the deceased victims in the synagogue shooting will be released at 9 a.m. ET Sunday, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto told CNN’s Wolf Bitzer.
The mayor said there was “really strong insistence by the FBI that we identify everybody with 100% accuracy before giving out any information, for the families’ sake.”
Perduto also said security was being tightened at Islamic centers and any other group that “would feel insecure or would need additional security.”
Eleven people were killed and six people were injured when a gunman entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, officials said.
The suspect was taken into custody.
Crowds gathered at the intersection of Murray Avenue and Forbes Avenue in Pittsburgh for a vigil that was held at Sixth Presbyterian Church, located in the same neighborhood as Tree of Life synagogue.
President Trump told reporters that he will be going to Pittsburgh after today’s shooting. But the President did not say when that trip will occur.
Trump described the gunman’s thought process as “sick” and once again called for the death penalty.
Trump, while talking to reporters as he landed in Murphysboro, Illinois, also reflected on the pain he feels as President: “You feel differently when you’re President. And you’re in charge and you see something like this. The level of pain is incredible.”
Bowers, 46, often made anti-Semetic postings on social media.
On Gab.com, he claimed Jews were helping transport members of the migrant caravans.
He also criticized President Trump for surrounding himself with Jewish people and said he didn’t vote for Trump.
But law enforcement officers said they knew nothing of Bowers.
Former President Barack Obama tweeted: “We grieve for the Americans murdered in Pittsburgh. All of us have to fight the rise of anti-Semitism and hateful rhetoric against those who look, love, or pray differently. And we have to stop making it so easy for those who want to harm the innocent to get their hands on a gun.”
The shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh – in which the death toll now stands at 11 – is likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the US, the Anti-Defamation League said Saturday.
The Pittsburgh neighborhood where the synagogue shooting occurred was once a home to Mr. Rogers – Christina Maxouris and Saeed Ahmed
Ask the residents who live there and they’ll tell you that Squirrel Hill – the site of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack – is generally a happy, safe community.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a statement Saturday, saying in part: “These alleged crimes are reprehensible and utterly repugnant to the values of this nation. Accordingly, the Department of Justice will file hate crimes and other criminal charges against the defendant, including charges that could lead to the death penalty.”
Actor Tom Hanks has been filming a movie in Pittsburgh. He put out a tweet showing a sign that said, “Love Thy Neighbors No Exceptions,” and said: “Again, to me this photo is the spirit of Pittsburgh- with a broken heart today for those in Squirrel Hill … Hanx”
“This fundraiser is meant to help the congregation with the physical damages to the building, as well as the survivors and the victims’ families. Respond to this hateful act with your act of love today. All funds raised will directly go to the Tree of Life Congregation from GoFundMe, and there is no third party intermediary,” the fundraiser posted.
Currently over $30,000 has been raised with the amount steadily climbing.
To contribute, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/tree-of-life-synagogue-shooting
Hillary Clinton tweeted Saturday: “My thoughts are with everyone affected by this morning’s horrific shooting at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We can and must put a stop to this violence and this hate. It should have no home in America.”
Robert Bowers’ anti-Semitism fueled other hate speech that he published and shared on Gab.com
Bowers made anti-Semitic comments alongside xenophobic content, claiming that Jews were helping transport members of the migrant caravans in Latin America. He shared a video that another Gab.com user posted, purportedly of HIAS, a Jewish refugee support group, on the US-Mexico border.
In another post, Bowers described HIAS’ overall efforts as, “sugar-coated evil.”
He believed that those in the migrant caravans were violent because they were attempting to leave countries that had high levels of violence. And Bowers repeatedly called them “invaders.”
“I have noticed a change in people saying ‘illegals’ that now say ‘invaders’,” read one post, six days before the shooting. “I like this.”
At 9:49 a.m., in his final post on Gab.com, Bowers said referenced HIAS, saying he believed they brought in “invaders,” that were killing his people.
Of the 6 people injured at the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, four were police officers, officials said.
Don Yealy, Chief of Emergency Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, detailed the 6 injuries and said two are in critical condition.
- A 61-year-old female is recovering from soft tissue injuries in an extremity.
- A 70-year-old male has gunshot wounds to the torso. He is in critical condition and a second or third operation will be needed.
- A 55-year-old male officer has multiple extremity wounds and is in critical condition.
- A 27-year-old male officer has an extremity injury and is recovering in the hospital.
- A male officer was grazed by a bullet and is doing fine.
- A male officer with soft tissue injuries is also recovering.
The suspect’s final ominous post on social media came only five minutes before police were alerted to a mass shooting that left 11 people dead at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh
Among many anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant posts on his Gab social media profile, Robert Bowers posted a final one at 9:49 a.m. complaining about a Jewish organization that aids refugees.
“I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered,” he wrote. “Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
The first call to police came minutes later, at 9:54 a.m.
The suspect Robert Bowers is a Pittsburgh resident, and an assault rifle and three handguns were found on the scene, officials said.
He is in fair condition with multiple gunshot wounds, said Wendell Hissrich, Pittsburgh’s public safety director.
Criminal charges are expected shortly, possibly even today, said Scott W. Brady, the United States Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
President Donald Trump said he will hold a political rally in Illinois as planned.
The Saturday afternoon rally in Murphysboro, Illinois, will follow a stop in Indianapolis, Indiana, for an agriculture convention.
Reporters were told ahead of Trump’s remarks in Indianapolis that he might cancel the Illinois stop because of the synagogue shooting, but Trump said at the convention that he did not want to “let people that are evil change our lives.”
“So I think when I’m finished with this, I should go to Illinois,” Trump said. “I will go to Illinois, and we’ll keep our schedule the way it’s supposed to be, and we should all do that, and I maybe recommend that to others also.”
The shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue left 11 people dead and six people injured, said Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.
Four of the six injured people were law enforcement officers, he said. No children were killed in the shooting.
The injured does not include the shooter.
Bob Jones, FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge, said it was the “most horrific crime scene” he’s seen.
The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime, Gov. Tom Wolf said.
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.
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.
President Trump told pool reporters off camera that he and his staff are exploring their options about tonight’s rally and are considering cancelling the event at Southern Illinois Airport, outside Carbondale.
The Future Farmers of America event in Indianapolis is still on.
Trump said the shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh “looks definitely like it’s an anti-Semitic crime.”
“We’re learning a lot about it. It looks definitely like it’s an anti-Semitic crime. And that is something you wouldn’t believe could still be going on,” Trump said. “It would seem to be an anti-Semitic crime.”
Trump has spoken to Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and has pledged his support and federal help. He also said he has talked with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
A federal law enforcement official tells CNN that Robert Bowers’ social media postings are a focus of their investigation into the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Shortly before the shooting, shooting suspect Robert 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.”
In that same posting, Bowers wrote “HIAS likes to bring in invaders that kill our people.” HIAS is a Jewish refugee advocacy group that held a “National Refugee Shabbat” last weekend.
Bowers’ Gab account has frequent anti-Semitic postings. He has reposted a number of posts on his social media accounts that tell Jews to get out, or leave.
17 days before the attack, Bowers posted a web page from HIAS that listed a number of Shabbats that were being held on behalf of refugees. On that list was a Shabbat address that is less than a mile away from the Tree of Life Synagogue.
The CEO of HIAS told CNN that Bowers is not known to the group.
Gab is a social media platform that advocates for free speech and puts nearly no restrictions on content.
In a statement posted online, Gab said they “unequivocally disavows and condemns all acts of terrorism and violence…Gab’s mission is very simple: to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people.”
After they were alerted to the suspect’s profile on their platform, they say they backed up the data, suspended the account, and contacted the FBI.
A law enforcement source confirmed to CNN that investigators believe the social media postings belong to Bowers and that the language on his account matches the suspected motivation behind the shootings.