Gover­nor, of­fi­cials con­demn mass shoot­ing at syn­a­gogue

Centre Daily Times (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY SARAH PAEZ spaez@cen­

Af­ter a gun­man opened fire on a Jewish syn­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh Satur­day morn­ing, killing 11 peo­ple and wound­ing six more, state and lo­cal of­fi­cials took to the in­ter­net and air­waves to ex­press con­do­lences and con­demn the act.

Gov. Tom Wolf talked about fo­cus­ing on the man­ner in which vi­o­lence is con­ducted.

“We must all pray and hope for no more loss of life,” he tweeted. “But we have been say­ing, ‘This one is too many’ for far too long. Dan­ger­ous weapons are putting our cit­i­zens in harm’s way.”

“The vi­o­lence against the Tree of Life con­gre­ga­tion to­day is hor­rific. It is an as­sault on the lib­er­ties our coun­try and Com­mon­wealth were founded to pro­tect,” said Penn­syl­va­nia At­tor­ney Gen­eral Josh Shapiro. “When any one com­mu­nity is tar­geted with vi­o­lence, in­tim­i­da­tion or dis­crim­i­na­tion it threat­ens all of us and must be con­demned. That this at­tack took place in a house of wor­ship where con­gre­gants seek safety and peace is par­tic­u­larly per­verse and is an at­tempt to in­tim­i­date peo­ple of faith. That at­tempt will never suc­ceed.”

Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Jake Cor­man, R-Ben­ner Town­ship, tweeted, “Hate has no place in our com­mu­ni­ties, our state, or our coun­try. The fam­i­lies of the vic­tims of the heinous act this morn­ing at Tree of Life Syn­a­gogue are in our hearts and in our prayers,

as are the first re­spon­ders and the en­tire com­mu­nity.”

State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Al­legheny, who rep­re­sents the Squir­rel Hill com­mu­nity in Pitts­burgh where the shoot­ing took place, talked about a way for­ward.

“My heart aches for the loss to our city and our com­mu­nity. The Tree of Life has pro­vided com­fort and sup­port to fam­i­lies for decades. Our whole com­mu­nity is in mourn­ing. I stand with them, and all our neigh­bors in grief,” he said in a state­ment. “While to­day is a day of griev­ing, to­mor­row we have to be­gin the dis­cus­sion in our com­mu­ni­ties and our coun­try about what it means when peo­ple with weapons are in­cited to vi­o­lence, di­vided by hate and seek­ing scape­goats. It is ter­ri­ble, ter­ri­ble to live in fear.”

State Reps. Robert Free­man, D-Northamp­ton, Michael Schloss­berg, DLe­high, and Jared Solo- mon, D-Phila., who are Jewish, is­sued a state­ment con­demn­ing not only the gun­man’s ac­tions but the so­ci­etal re­sponse in the wake of mass shoot­ings.

“These acts of hate and vi­o­lence have no place in our com­mu­ni­ties, our Com­mon­wealth or our coun­try. Sadly, they have be­come all too com­mon. And for it to oc­cur in a syn­a­gogue on the Sab­bath is all the more heart­break­ing, that some­one would take the holi­est of days to mur­der in­no­cent wor­shipers,” the state­ment reads.

It con­tin­ues: “With each shoot­ing we all ask, ‘Will this be the one that prompts real change?’ Yet, in­stead of fos­ter­ing change, it seems to fos­ter a numb­ness and a cal­lous­ness in our cul­ture, a cul­ture that ac­cepts these in­ci­dents as a fact of life.

“We can­not and will not live in a so­ci­ety where we have to ex­plain to our chil­dren and their chil­dren that this be­hav­ior is some­thing


State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Al­legheny, who rep­re­sents the Squir­rel Hill com­mu­nity in Pitts­burgh

that just hap­pens in the United States in the 21st cen­tury. In­stead, we must have strength like those who stood in the way of the bul­lets, courage like those who charged into, not away from the fight, and stead­fast­ness like those who bring vil­lains like this to jus­tice. Thoughts and prayers are no longer enough.”


Peo­ple hold can­dles as they gather Satur­day for a vigil in the af­ter­math of a deadly shoot­ing at the Tree of Life Con­gre­ga­tion in the Squir­rel Hill neigh­bor­hood of Pitts­burgh. Eleven peo­ple were killed and six wounded in the at­tack.


Peo­ple gather near the Tree of Life Syn­a­gogue in Pitts­burgh, where a shooter opened fire Satur­day. Fed­eral au­thor­i­ties are treat­ing the shoot­ing as a hate crime.


Kate Roth­stein, left, and her 16-year-old daugh­ter Si­mone Roth­stein share their grief af­ter mul­ti­ple peo­ple were shot at a syn­a­gogue Satur­day in Pitts­burgh.

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