Suspect arrested in Saturday’s mass shooting.
A gunman armed with an assault rifle killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue during Saturday morning services in what the Anti-Defamation League called “likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.”
Law enforcement officials said Robert Bowers – a 46-year-old man with a history of making viru- lently anti-Semitic statements online — was taken into custody after a gunbattle with police.
Federal prosecutors later charged him with 29 counts in the deaths of 11 people, including using a firearm to commit murder, The Associated Press reported. Scott Brady, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, said a news conference was scheduled Sunday to discuss the charges.
Authorities described a rampage at the Tree of Life synagogue, the city’s oldest Jewish congregation, that was stunning in its savagery.
“This is the most horrific crime scene I’ve seen in 22 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” said Robert Allan Jones, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Pittsburgh field office. “Members of the Tree of Life synagogue conducting a peaceful service in their place of worship were brutally murdered by a gunman targeting them simply because of their faith.”
All 11 people killed were adults, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said. Six people were also wounded, four of them police officers responding to the gunfire, he said.
Jones said that Bowers entered the synagogue, gunned down 11 people and was leaving when he encountered responding officers.