Antisemite, 46, screamed 'All Jews must die!' as he shot an AR-15 in a Pittsburgh synagogue. At least 11 are dead.Daily Mail
October 27, 2018
The gunman who opened fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday morning, killing eight and injuring six more, has been named as 46-year-old Robert Bowers, an antisemite who regularly complained on social media about 'the infestation' of Jews.
Bowers, who spewed vile antisemitism an hour before Saturday's attack, opened fire at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill area of Pittsburgh shortly before 10am.
He was enraged by HIAS, the Hebrew Immigration Aid Society which helps Jewish migrants settle in the US, which he accused of bringing 'invaders in that kill our people'.
'I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in,' he wrote.
Two days ago, he said there was no "MAGA as there is a k*** [ethnic slur for a Jewish person] infestation."
A photograph at the top of Bowers' profile showed a machine with the numbers 1488 - a prolific white supremacist symbol - on it.
He also previously wrote that he had never voted for Donald Trump, 'nor have I owned, worn or even touched a maga hat'.
Shortly before 10am, he burst through the synagogue's doors armed with 'multiple handguns' and an AR-15 and opened fire on a Shabbat service congregation on the main floor where around 40 to 50 people had gathered, shouting 'all Jews must die!'.
After killing three people on the main floor, he went downstairs, where the New Light congregation was gathering in the basement, and opened fire there.
He murdered four people there then fled upstairs where, on the third floor, he exchanged fire with SWAT teams and injured four police officers. Dor Hadash, a third, smaller group, was gathered in the rabbi's study to the side of the Tree of Life' s congregation.
After being injured himself in the crossfire, Bowers surrendered to police. He is now in custody.
Among the six people injured were four police officers and two congregants who are clinging to life in the hospital.
None of the eight people killed have been named. Local officials described the scene as 'horrific' and cried as they gave an update on the shooting on Saturday afternoon.
After tweeting that the situation was 'devastating', President Trump said on Saturday that it would not have happened if the synagogue had had its own security.
He called for the shooter to be sentenced to death and spoke about making capital punishment 'in vogue'.
The horror began unfolding on Saturday shortly after the 9.45am services began. In addition to the Sabbath service, a bris was scheduled for the morning and had attracted additional worshipers.
Bowers started his killing in the main chapel where the Tree of Life congregants were gathered. He shot indiscriminately, according to survivors, then made his way down to the basement where one of the other two groups was.
After killing seven people between those two floors, he made his way to the third floor.
By then, SWAT teams had arrived at the scene. They engaged in a gunfight with him and four cops were shot in the process. None are thought to have suffered life threatening injuries.
Bowers was injured in the battle and surrendered to police by crawling to them. He was taken to the hospital.
Speaking afterwards, Wendell Hissnich, Pittsburgh Director of Public Safety, fought back tears as he described the scene inside.
'It's a very horrific crime scene. It's one of the worst that I have seen and I have been on plane crashes. It is very bad,' he said.
One woman, whose daughter was inside at the time, told CNN: 'They heard the shots and they all, her friend's mom and dad and son, they just all ran downstairs I guess and barricaded themselves in the basement.
'They kept hearing gunfire and everything else.'
Another man rushed to the scene to try to get his elderly father-in-law to safety. He told reporters: 'My father-in-law was inside, I got married in this place, this is crazy.
'This is unbelievable. People have to stop the hate. They have to stop.'