Safety Director Gives Haunting Details on Synagogue Crime Scene: 'One of the Worst...'


On Saturday morning, a gunman opened fire inside a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, killing multiple people and injuring six more, including four police officers, before he was arrested.

The gunman entered the synagogue around 10 a.m. ET and reportedly yelled, “all Jews must die” before opening fire on those gathered. Authorities report that the shooting occurred during a baby’s circumcision ceremony at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

KDKA-TV reports that at least 11 people were killed.

The synagogue’s previous president, Michael Eisenberg, told KDKA-TV that there were three congregations meeting at the synagogue at the same time, and estimated that were as many as 100 people present during the attack.

Eisenberg had been trying to get to the synagogue when the shooting took place. “There were police cars everywhere, guns drawn, rifles,” he said. “It was surreal.”

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Officials have identified the suspect in custody as 46-year-old Robert Bowers. CNN reports that he allegedly made anti-Semitic statements after his arrest.

According to CNN, two hours before Bower committed the shooting, an account belonging to him on the social media site Gab posted that he was “going in.”

The last post made on the account (which has since been suspended and its data sent to the FBI), was against a Jewish refugee advocacy group, HIAS.

“HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people,” Bowers wrote. “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

Gab said in a statement that the company “unequivocally disavows and condemns all acts of terrorism and violence.”

As reported by Fox News, Pittsburgh’s public safety director Wendell Hissrich said that the crime scene is “very horrific.”

Hissrich was visibly moved when he gave an update on the synagogue.

“We’ve had a tragedy here today,” he said. He appeared shaken by events and became choked up when giving the number for victims’ families to call for updates.

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He stated that the attack was being classified as a federal violation and that it will be investigated by the FBI.

“It’s one of the worst that I’ve seen, and I’ve been on some plane crashes. It’s very bad,” Hissrich told the press about the scene of the shooting. He urged people to stay away from the synagogue as officials continue investigating the “lengthy” crime scene.

In an afternoon statement to the press, Hissrich confirmed the 11 fatalities and said that this included no children.

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Karista Baldwin studied constitutional law, politics and criminal justice at the University of Dallas and the University of Texas at Dallas.
Karista Baldwin has studied constitutional law, politics and criminal justice at the University of Dallas and the University of Texas at Dallas. Before college, she was a lifelong homeschooler in the "Catholic eclectic" style.
Presidential Scholarship at the University of Dallas
Dallas, Texas
Languages Spoken
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment, Faith