Pittsburgh suspect ‘wanted Jews to die’
ELEVEN KILLED AT SYNAGOGUE
THE suspect in the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue told officers that Jews were committing genocide and that he wanted them all to die, according to a charging document.
Robert Gregory Bowers killed eight men and three women inside the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday during worship services before a tactical police team tracked him down and shot him, police said in the document, which contained some previously unreported details on the shooting and the police response.
Calls began coming in to 911 from the synagogue just before 10am on Saturday, reporting “they were being attacked”, the document said.
Bowers shot one of the first two officers to respond in the hand, and the other was wounded by “shrapnel and broken glass”.
A tactical team found Bowers on the third floor, where he shot two officers multiple times, the affidavit said. One officer was described as critically wounded; the document did not describe the other officer’s condition.
Two other people in the synagogue, a man and a woman, were wounded by Bowers and were in stable condition, the document said. Bowers told an officer while he was being treated for his injuries “that he wanted all Jews to die and also that they [Jews] were committing genocide to his people”, the affidavit said.
Bowers was charged late on Saturday with 11 counts of criminal homicide, six counts of aggravated assault and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation in what the leader of the Anti-defamation League called the deadliest attack on Jews in US history. The nation’s latest mass shooting drew condemnation and expressions of sympathy from politicians and religious leaders.
With the mid-term election just over a week away, it also reignited a longstanding and bitter debate over guns.
People light candles at a vigil after the deadly shooting