UPDATE: Authorities Identify 11 People Killed in Synagogue Shooting

An FBI official says the man suspected of killing 11 people at a Pennsylvania synagogue was not known to law enforcement.

Posted: Oct 27, 2018 9:18 AM
Updated: Oct 29, 2018 12:08 PM

PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Latest on a deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue (all times local):

2 p.m.

Daniel Stein, who was among the 11 people shot dead inside Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue Saturday, was a very visible member of the city's Jewish community as a leader in the New Light Congregation.

The co-president of the area's Hadassah chapter, Nancy Shuman, says Judaism was very important to the 71-year-old Stein. His wife, Sharyn, is the chapter's membership vice president.

Shuman says, "Both of them were very passionate about the community and Israel."

Stein's nephew Steven Halle told the Tribune-Review that his uncle "was always willing to help anybody."

Halle says Stein "was somebody that everybody liked."

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1:45 p.m.

Joyce Fienberg and her late husband, Stephen, were intellectual powerhouses, but those who knew them say they were the kind of people who used that intellect to help others.

Joyce Fienberg was among the 11 victims of a gunman who opened fire inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh Saturday.

The 74-year-old spent most of her career at the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center. She retired in 2008 from her job as a researcher looking at learning in the classroom and in museums. She worked on several projects, including studying the practices of highly effective teachers.

Dr. Gaea Leinhardt, who was Fienberg's research partner for decades, says she is devastated by the murder of her colleague and friend.

Leinhardt says, "Joyce was a magnificent, generous, caring, and profoundly thoughtful human being."

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1:30 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns have observed a moment of silence at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field for the 11 people killed by a gunman inside a synagogue in the city Saturday.

There were other such tributes at NFL games elsewhere Sunday.

Eight men and three women were murdered inside the Tree of Life Synagogue. The names of the victims, which included a pair of brothers and a married couple, were released Sunday.

In a statement issued before Sunday's game, Steelers owner Art Rooney II said, "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."

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto called the slayings the "darkest day of Pittsburgh's history."

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1 p.m.

A law enforcement official says the man accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue had a license to carry firearms and legally owned his guns.

The official wasn't authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke Sunday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Police say Robert Bowers killed eight men and three women in the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday before a tactical police team tracked him down and shot him.

The victims ranged in age from 54 to 97 and included brothers and a husband and wife.

Court papers say Bowers made statements about genocide and killing Jewish people.

Federal prosecutors have charged Bowers with 29 criminal offenses and state authorities have also leveled charges. Bowers is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday.

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11:40 a.m.

Condolences and remembrances of the 11 victims of the deadly attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday are beginning to roll out on social media and in emails.

They were professors and accountants, dentists and beloved doctors.

Former Allegheny County Deputy District Attorney Law Claus sent an email to his former coworkers Sunday asking them to pass along his condolences to the family of Jerry Rabinowitz, a 66-year-old personal physician.

Claus says Rabinowitz was more than a physician for him and his family for the past three decades, saying, "he was truly a trusted confidant and healer."

He says Rabinowitz had an uplifting demeanor and would provide sage advice.

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11:20 a.m.

A neighbor of the man charged in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre says the suspect kept to himself.

Chris Hall said Sunday that he never heard or saw anything to indicate that 46-year-old Robert Bowers harbored anti-Semitic views or posed a threat.

Authorities say Bowers killed eight men and three women inside the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday during worship services before a tactical police team shot and wounded him. Bowers faces state and federal charges.

Hall says nothing stood out about Bowers. He says "the most terrifying thing is just how normal he seemed."

Six others were wounded in the attack, including four officers, one of whom remains in critical condition. Two worshippers also remain hospitalized, one of them in critical condition.

10 a.m.

The 11 people killed in the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh included a married couple, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, and two brothers, Cecil and David Rosenthal.

The Allegheny County medical examiners' office released the victims' names Sunday. David Rosenthal was the youngest at 54. The eldest was 97-year-old Rose Mallinger.

The dead also included Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Jerry Rabinowitz, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax and Irving Younger.

Fellow members of the New Light Congregation say Wax was a pillar of the congregation, filling many roles there. Friend Myron Snider says Wax was a retired accountant who was unfailingly generous.

Wax was in his late 80s.

Authorities say gunman Robert Bowers made statements about genocide and killing Jewish people. Bowers is being treated for gunshot wounds and is due in court Monday.

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9:30 a.m.

Authorities have released the names of the 11 people killed by a gunman during worship services in a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Officials said at a news conference Sunday that the victims ranged in age from 54 to 97 and included brothers and a husband and wife.

Authorities say gunman Robert Bowers made statements about genocide and killing Jewish people. Officials previously said three women and eight men were killed.

Bowers has been arrested and is being treated for gunshot wounds at a hospital.

The U.S. attorney's office has charged Bowers with 29 federal counts. Bowers is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday. State authorities have also leveled charges.

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8 a.m.

German leaders are mourning the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting and stressing the need to push back against anti-Semitism.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman quoted Merkel on Twitter as offering her condolences and saying that "all of us must confront anti-Semitism with determination - everywhere."

President Frank-Walter Steinmeier voiced his dismay at the attack, which left 11 dead, in a condolence message to U.S. President Donald Trump.

Steinmeier wrote that "this abhorrent crime reminds us all to do what is in our power to advocate against hatred and violence, against anti-Semitism and exclusion, and to counter with determination those who incite them."

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7:30 a.m.

Pope Francis is grieving with Pittsburgh's Jewish community following the massacre at a synagogue, denouncing the "inhuman act of violence" and praying for an end to the "flames of hatred" that fueled it.

Francis led prayers for Pittsburgh on Sunday in St. Peter's Square, a day after a gunman who had expressed hatred of Jews opened fire in the synagogue during Sabbath services, killing 11 people.

Francis prayed for the dead, injured and their families and said: "In reality, all of us are wounded by this inhuman act of violence." He prayed for God "to help us to extinguish the flames of hatred that develop in our societies, reinforcing the sense of humanity, respect for life and civil and moral values."

Francis has frequently spoken out against religiously inspired violence and has denounced the easy availability of guns thanks to weapons manufacturers, whom he has called "merchants of death."

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7 a.m.

Police say the suspect in the deadly mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue told officers that Jews were committing genocide and that he wanted them all to die.

Pittsburgh police said in an arrest affidavit made public early Sunday that Robert Gregory Bowers killed eight men and three women in the Tree of Life Synagogue before a tactical police team tracked him down and shot him.

A Pittsburgh police officer says in the warrant that Bowers was being treated for his injuries when he said Jews were "committing genocide to his people."

Bowers is charged with 11 counts of criminal homicide, six counts of aggravated assault and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation.

The police affidavit says calls began coming in to 911 just before 10 a.m. Saturday, reporting "they were being attacked."

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12:30 a.m.

A gunman who expressed hatred of Jews exploited a vulnerability common in so many houses of worship across the country - doors that are unlocked for worship - to target a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Officials say Robert Bowers was armed with a rifle and three handguns when he walked inside the Tree of Life synagogue during Sabbath services Saturday morning and opened fire, killing 11 people and wounding six in what is believed to be the deadliest attack on Jews in U.S. history.

Police swarmed the building and traded gunfire with the gunman, who was shot multiple times but survived.

Four police officers are among the wounded.

Bowers faces 29 federal counts, including weapons offenses and hate crimes.

Law enforcement officials plan to discuss the massacre at a news conference Sunday morning.

4:25 p.m.

An FBI official says the man suspected of killing 11 people at a Pennsylvania synagogue was not known to law enforcement.

Bob Jones, the special agent in charge of the FBI's office in Pittsburgh, says investigators believe Robert Bowers was acting alone.

He says Bowers' full motive still isn't known.

Jones said the scene of Saturday's shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation was "the most horrific crime scene I have seen" in 22 years with the FBI.

Police say 11 people were killed and six people, including four police officers, were injured.

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3:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump has decided to go ahead with his Illinois political rally on Saturday.

He'd considered canceling it because of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack in which at least 10 people were killed.

But in remarks to young farmers in Indiana, Trump said "we can't let evil change our life and change our schedule."

He says he'll go with a "heavy heart."

Earlier, the president called the attack at a baby naming ceremony on Saturday morning a "wicked act of mass murder" that "is pure evil, hard to believe and frankly something that is unimaginable."

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3:40 p.m.

The social media site Gab.com says the shooter at a Pittsburgh synagogue had a profile on their website.

The company says the account was verified after Saturday's shooting and matched the name of the gunman mentioned on police radio communications.

A law enforcement official identified the shooter to The Associated Press as Robert Bowers.

A man with the same name posted on Gab before the shooting that "HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in."

HIAS is a nonprofit group that helps refugees around the world find safety and freedom. The organization says it is guided by Jewish values and history.

President and CEO Mark Hetfield says he wasn't aware of the shooter's "obsession with HIAS until this morning."

Gab said in a statement that it suspended the alleged gunman's account, backed up the content and notified the FBI.

Gab says its mission is to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people.

The social media site is popular with far-right extremists.

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3:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump is condemning the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in which at least 10 people were killed, saying "there must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America."

Trump is addressing the shooting as he speaks at a Future Farmers of America convention in Indianapolis.

Trump is calling the attack at a baby naming ceremony Saturday a "wicked act of mass murder" that "is pure evil, hard to believe and frankly something that is unimaginable."

He says the nation and the word are "shocked and stunned" by grief and is calling on the country to come together.

Trump has at times been accused by critics of failing to adequately condemn hate, such as when he blamed "both sides" for the violence at a Charlottesville white supremacist rally.

He says that anti-Semitism "must be confronted anywhere and everywhere it appears"

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3 p.m.

People with knowledge of the investigation are telling The Associated Press that at least 10 people have died in the shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue.

Authorities say the gunman opened fire during a baby naming ceremony Saturday morning at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Six people were wounded, including six police officers.

The people spoke to the AP anonymously because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the shooting.

- Marc Levy in Harrisburg, Pa., and Eric Tucker in Washington.

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14:50 p.m.

Authorities say they've increased security at Jewish centers in New York City and elsewhere in the state in response to the deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

New York Police Department officials say they are dispatching heavy weapons teams and squad cars to check on houses of worship across the city.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is saying in a statement that he also was directing state police to increase patrols at synagogues throughout the state.

The Democratic governor and the NYPD said that there were no specific threats and that the security measures were a precaution.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says authorities there are doing the same.

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14:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he may cancel a political rally in Illinois on Saturday after a deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

He tells reporters aboard Air Force One: "You can say we're considering it." Trump has arrived in Indianapolis to speak at the Future Farmers of America convention.

Trump says he has spoken with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. He also has discussed the shooting with his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

Before departing Andrews Air Force Base, Trump told reporters that the shooting was "devastating" and suggested that the outcome would have been different if the synagogue employed an armed guard.

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14:30 p.m.

President Donald Trump says "a lot of people" were killed in the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday and it "looks definitely like it's an anti-Semitic crime."

Trump tells reporters at the airport in Indianapolis that what "happened today is a horrible, horrible thing."

He says the FBI is now involved and there were "a lot of people killed" and "a lot of people very badly wounded." He also says the crime scene is one of the worst many professionals have seen.

Police have a suspect in custody after Saturday's attack at the Tree of Life Congregation.

A shooter opened fire during a baby-naming ceremony, killing an unknown number of people and wounding six others, including four police officers who dashed to the scene.

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2:15 p.m.

Shocked reactions are pouring in in response to the deadly shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center, is deploring "another horrific act of hate at a house of worship."

He says the Saturday morning shooting is reminiscent of "the slaughter of nine African American worshippers at Charleston's Mother Emmanuel Church in 2015, the killings of six Sikh worshippers at a temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in 2014, and, of course, the bombing of Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church in 1963 that left four young African American girls dead."

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt has tweeted: "We are devastated. Jews targeted on Shabbat morning at synagogue, a holy place of worship, is unconscionable. Our hearts break for the victims, their families, and the entire Jewish community."

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1:50 p.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the attack on Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue.

"I was heartbroken and appalled by the murderous attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue today," Netanyahu said in a video message posted on Twitter shortly after the attack, which has killed at least two people and injured six.

Netanyahu says all of Israel is grieving with the families of the dead.

He adds: "We stand together with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. We stand together with the American people in the face of this horrendous anti-Semitic brutality. And we all pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded."

Netanyahu posted the same message in Hebrew on Twitter minutes later.

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1:30 p.m.

A law enforcement official has identified the suspect in a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue as Robert Bowers.

The official said Bowers was in his 40s.

The official wasn't authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Authorities said the gunman opened fire during a baby naming ceremony Saturday morning at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

City officials said six people, including four police officers, were injured. They said several people were also killed.

The synagogue is located about 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh in a neighborhood that is the hub of Pittsburgh's Jewish community.

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By Michael Balsamo in Washington.

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1:25 p.m.

City officials say the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh is being investigated as a federal hate crime.

A visibly moved Wendell Hissrich, Pittsburgh's Public Safety Director, says six people were injured, including four police officers.

Hissrich called it "a very horrific crime scene" and said it is one of the worst he has seen, including some plane crashes.

Hissrich says there is no active threat to this community now that the shooter has been taken into custody.

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1:10 p.m.

Pennsylvania's Attorney General Josh Shapiro is saying that the shooter at the synagogue in Pittsburgh 'shooter claimed innocent lives - and injured first responders - at a baby naming.'

Three officers were shot in the Saturday morning attack at the Tree of Life Congregation in the city's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, and a local hospital said it was treating multiple victims.

It was not immediately known how many people had been injured or killed, though Shapiro's statement appeared to show that at least two people had died.

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12:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump is responding to what he's calling the "devastating" shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, saying: "It's a 'terrible thing what's going on with hate in our country."

Trump spoke to reporters at Andrews Air Force Base before traveling to Indianapolis.

He told reporters the violence "has to stop."

Trump also said the outcome might have been different if the synagogue "had some kind of protection" from an armed guard and suggested that might be a good idea for all churches and synagogues.

He also said such shooters should receive the death penalty and "suffer the ultimate price."

Three officers were shot in the Saturday morning attack at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. It was not immediately known how many people had been shot or killed.

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12:30 p.m.

Israel is expressing its shock and concern and offering assistance to the local community following the shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Minister Naftali Bennett, Israel's Cabinet minister for diaspora affairs, made the comments following a Saturday morning shooting that police say has left several people dead.

Bennet says he is "following the news with concern," and has instructed Israel's Ministry of Diaspora Affairs to prepare to assist the community in every possible way.

He adds: "Our hearts go out to the families of those killed and injured. May the memory of the murdered be blessed."

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12:15 p.m.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center system says it's treating multiple victims from a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

Paul Wood, the chief communications officer for the hospital system, said the patients are receiving care at UPMC Presbyterian, but he would not say how many.

Pittsburgh police say a shooter is in custody after an attack at the Tree of Life synagogue that left multiple casualties, including several injured officers.

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12:05 p.m.

Pittsburgh's sports teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers and Pittsburgh Penguins, are expressing their condolences for the deadly shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Authorities say the Saturday morning shooting caused "multiple casualties," and a suspect is in custody.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the Pittsburgh Penguins are saying in separate statements on their Twitter pages that their "thoughts and prayers" are with all those affected by the shooting.

A police spokesman says police have no more information at this time because they were still trying to clear the building and determine if any more threats exist.

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11:50 a.m.

President Donald Trump says he's been monitoring a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue that police say has left multiple people dead.

In a tweet Saturday, Trump encouraged people to shelter in place and says "looks like multiple fatalities."

Trump ended the tweet by saying "God Bless All!"

The shooting happened at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the city's Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

A suspect is in custody after multiple people were killed and three officers were shot at a Pittsburgh synagogue, authorities said.

Police responded to reports of active gunfire at the Tree of Life*Or L’Simcha congregation, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety commander Jason Lando.

The synagogue is a conservative Jewish congregation, according to its website, and there was a morning Shabbat service scheduled from 9:45 a.m. to 12 noon today.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he was "watching the events unfolding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania" and urged people in the area to "remain sheltered."

The New York City Police Department said it is deploying extra teams to synagogues and Jewish locations throughout the city.

Updated on 10/27/18 9:16 a.m.

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