Multiple people are dead after a shooting took place near a Pittsburgh synagogue. Multiple people were also injured, including four police officers, during the incident.
The alleged man behind a horrific shooting inside a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday has been identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers, a law enforcement official told USA TODAY.
Bowers reportedly had multiple firearms, including a high-powered rifle, according to CNN and CBS News. He is the only suspect so far in the investigation.
CBS News reported Bowers burst into the Tree of Life synagogue and started firing at random while shouting, “All Jews must die.” The network reported Bowers barricaded himself during the rampage.
Law enforcement officials said Bower was taken to the hospital after the attack.
Multiple people were reported dead and six others injured, including four police officers, according to Pittsburgh Public Safety Department.
Social media accounts that appear to belong to Bowers include an array of anti-semitic comments and conspiracy theories. Just before the shooting, Bowers reportedly wrote on the social media website Gab, “I can’t sit by an watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics. I’m going in.”
In the post, he mentioned HIAS, which is the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, saying the organization liked to bring “invaders in that kill our people.”
It’s unclear who he meant when saying “our people.”
On Bowers’ page, he wrote about a number of conspiracy theories and his thoughts on President Donald Trump, who he said he did not vote for.
Gab, in a statement, said it was “saddened and disgusted” by the attack but defended its ability to protect free speech. The site backed up the shooter’s profile then suspended the account.
“Gab’s mission is very simple: to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people. Social media often brings out the best and the worst of humanity,” the statement said. “Criminals and criminal behavior exist on every social media platform.”
The FBI is treating the incident as a hate crime and leading the investigation, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said.
“It’s a very horrific crime scene,” Hissrich said. “It’s one of the worst I’ve seen.”
Victims have not been named, but Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said the shooting occurred at the synagogue during a baby-naming ceremony.
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