Governor, officials condemn mass shooting at synagogue
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
‘‘ 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.
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.