Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting: At Least 8 Dead

At least eight people were killed and six others injured in a shooting Saturday morning at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, CBS Pittsburgh/KDKA reports. Robert Bowers, 48, was identified as the shooter, law enforcement sources told CBS News and KDKA. Bowers surrendered and was taken into custody.

Bowers burst into the Tree of Life synagogue and indiscriminately fired in the building while shouting, “All Jews must die,” police sources told KDKA. Four officers were shot during the incident, officials said. Their injuries are believed to be non-life-threatening.

Bowers was armed with a possible AK 47 and two pistols and had barricaded himself in a room at the synagogue, a law enforcement source told CBS News. 

There was no evidence of an explosive device or any further threat to the public, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said in a news conference. “It’s a very horrific crime scene. It’s one of the worst that I’ve seen,” he said.

Gov. Tom Wolf arrived at the shooting scene Saturday and called the shooting an “absolute tragedy.” 

“These senseless acts of violence are not who we are as Americans,” Wolf said in a statement. “My thoughts right now are focused on the victims, their families and making sure law enforcement has every resource they need.”

The synagogue, which is located on the corner of Wilkens and Shady Avenue, was packed full of congregants for its weekly Shabbat services. Police said they received calls from people who were barricaded inside the building, KDKA reports. The Squirrel Hill neighborhood is about 15 minutes away from downtown Pittsburgh.

Speaking to reporters at Joint Base Andrews on Saturday, President Trump said the shooting was “far more devastating” than anyone previously thought. When asked if the shooting should prompt new gun laws, Mr. Trump said, “If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better.”

“If there was an armed guard inside the temple, they would have been able to stop him, maybe there would have been nobody killed, except for him, frankly,” he added.

Mr. Trump said that anyone who commits a similar crime should face the death penalty: “We should stiffen up our laws in terms of the death penalty. When people do this, they should get the death penalty. And they shouldn’t have to wait years and years. I think they should very much bring the death penalty into vogue.”

Pat Milton contributed to this report.

(This story originally published on CBS News on Oct. 27 at 2:05 p.m. ET)

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