PITTSBURGH – After walking in Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue and shooting eleven employees, the agency said Robert Bowers turned his weapons against the police. As he fortified himself on the upper floor, Mr. Bowers engaged in a desperate firefight that wounded four policemen.
When the police finally arrested him and treated his wounds, Mr. Bowers told a SWAT team officer He said "he wanted all Jews to die," according to a lawsuit filed in the case because he was the one Conviction was that the Jews "committed a genocide of his people".
A picture of Mr. Bowers appeared on Sunday The federal official was charged with 29 criminals, including obstructing freedom of worship ̵
Saturday's massacres at the synagogues – the worst in the Jewish community in decades – shook the nation at the end of an exhausting and bitter political season. Here in Pittsburgh it broke the heart, but not the spirit of a living Jewish community – the neighborhood of Squirrel Hill, where the residents mourned for the victims on Sunday.
"It's more than terrible," said 80-year-old Carl Solomon He was on his way to the New Light Congregation on Saturday morning when he saw a policeman with a gun when he left a car. Three churches – Tree of Life, Dor Hadash, and New Light – worshiped at the time of the shooting.
Mayor Bill Peduto called the attack "the darkest day in the history of Pittsburgh", but promised that the city would progress. "We know that as a society we are better than that," he said. "We know that hatred can never win, that those who try to separate us because we pray or where our families come from all over the world will lose."
The dead included eight men and three women. said the authorities. The oldest victim, Rose Mallinger of Squirrel Hill, was 97 years old. Two brothers, David and Cecil Rosenthal, aged 54 and 59, were the youngest. Among the dead were also a man and a woman, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, at the age of 84 and 86 from Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania.
All were beloved members of the community. Rabbi Donni Aaron, who has been providing music services to Dor Hadash for years, described Cecil Rosenthal as a large, friendly man who had developmental disabilities and was known in Squirrel Hill for his sunny dispositions. She said that he attended art classes for children at the Jewish Community Center.
"He was murdered because he was Jewish," she said. "He was murdered because he was a big target, maybe because everyone hit the deck, he could not be right now."
For Mr. Bowers, anti-Semitism seemed to run deep. Before it was erased on Saturday morning, a social media report believed to belong to him was full of anti-Jewish slander and references to anti-Jewish conspiracy theories.
The alleged gunman had 21 guns registered in his name, officials said, including an attack on the AR-15 rifle and three Glock handguns he took to the synagogue on Saturday. He had no criminal record, said the authorities and seems to have acted alone.
He lived a 30-minute drive south of Squirrel Hill in Baldwin Borough, a hilly, bourgeois neighborhood that is part of the metropolis of Pittsburgh. The police ransacked his home on Saturday, but on Sunday morning there were no signs of police or F.B.I.
A neighbor, Kerri Owens (30), claimed to have described himself as a truck driver.
The massacre moved the world. Pope Francis led prayers for Pittsburgh on St. Peter's Square Sunday, denouncing the "inhumane act of violence" and praying for an end to the "flames of hatred" that fueled him. President Trump ordered flags to fly at half-mast after returning from Illinois to Illinois on Saturday night.
Mr. Trump spoke to Andrews Joint Base reporters on Saturday: "It's a terrible, terrible thing that's going on with hate In our country and, frankly, around the world, something needs to be done. "
The new easy Congregation, Solomon said, could best be described as" Conservative egalitarian. "
It was founded in another district around the turn of the 20th century by Romanian Jews who fled from oppression in Europe. In 1957, the synagogue moved to Squirrel Hill; It had recently moved in to the other two rallies, which met separately in the Tree of Life.
The congregation met below in the so-called New Light Chapel, a basement used by its members as a sanctuary. On a typical Shabbat, about 20 people turned up to worship, Mr. Solomon said, and many of them would trickle late.
On Saturday morning, Mr. Solomon said, repeating what he had received from the UBS survivors. At the beginning of the service, only six had arrived at the shooting.
Two of them, Richard Gottfried (65) and Daniel Stein (71), were in the kitchen next to the filming location. Both were killed.
"There is no place to hide in the kitchen," said Congregation co-president Stephen Cohen (69).
Three persons – Dr. Ing. Gottfried's sister, Melvin Wax, and Rabbi Jonathan Perlman of the Congregation of the New Light – were in the chapel when they heard shots, Mr. Solomon said. They quickly found refuge in a storeroom behind the sanctuary. There they hid themselves with the lights off. It became quiet again.
"Basically everyone froze except Rabbi Perlman," said Mr. Cohen. "He brought everyone back."
They stayed in the storeroom and waited. The noise stopped. But Mr. Wax, 88, preferred to go, Mr. Solomon said, possibly because he was hard of hearing.
"For some reason, Mr. Wax opened the door and was shot," Mr. Cohen said. He fell back into the arms of another man. They waited until the police arrived. Mr. Wax was killed, but the two who remained in the storeroom survived.
"Actually, it was not very long," he said. "The whole thing went down relatively quickly."
Others inside the building recalled that they were startled by a loud noise. Joseph Charney, 90, a parishioner at the synagogue "Tree of Life" since 1955, said he stood in front of a woman reading in front of the congregation and standing next to his rabbi when they heard that he thought furniture would fall.
We thought it was a bit out there, as if something fell off a shelf or something, "said Mr. Charney on Sunday.
It was not until Mr. Bowers came into their congregation that they understood what was going on.
Once I realized what it was, it was either out or dying, "Mr. Charney said.
He saw Mr. Bowers shoot four people and ran away quickly. "I saw a big gun, I just looked at it for a few seconds and I put two and two together," said Mr. Charney.
Mr. Charney said he and the woman who read hurried to a third-floor place where "there are hiding places because they are small". He stood with the woman and thought of two things: "Shut up and Don't breathe. It was very difficult."
Mr. About 30 minutes later, Charney and the wife were led out of the synagogue by police.
"I saw four people being shot," Mr. Charney said. "They're regulars, they come every Saturday, it was awful."
Witnesses in the neighborhood said the attack had unfolded without warning.
Jim Waite, who lives across the street from the synagogue, said he heard a series of loud bangs and went outside to investigate, at which point a police car drove up and Mr. Waite saw another police officer with his gun drawn
Then he heard the sounds of chaos: Eight or nine more loud bangs and screams came out of the synagogue, and he rushed back to his house with a jogger and his daughter, and they all squatted down and wondered what was going on.
"It really was a surreal moment," Waite said in an interview on Sunday morning. "Obviously I immediately felt this embarrassing kind of panic, and she has not disappeared yet."
He saw from the windows of his house two police snipers trudging through his front yard and crouched behind a tree, pointing at them weapons at the synagogue and people running down the street.
"I have not looked out the window for a long time; I was scared, "Waite said.
The officers storming into the scene ran into Mr. Bowers as he tried to leave the synagogue and fired at her, injuring an officer in his hand. Another officer was severely injured by splinters and broken glass Mr. Bowers stormed back and ran to the third floor.
At that time, a SWAT team arrived and came to the scene of the massacre: two people In the search for other victims, SWAT officers met with Mr. Bowers, who shot them and critically injured two officers.
The remaining officers "involved the suspect in a shootout the rounds were exchanged. "At some point during the shootout, Mr. Bowers was wounded and eventually surrendered to the police.
Mr Bowers stayed overnight on Sunday morning h of an operation in the hospital, the authority said. He was due to appear in front of a federal judge for the first time on Monday at 13:30. From a Texas church to a Sikh temple in Wisconsin places of worship became the scene of mass shootings. ]
The attack was one of the worst attacks against the Jewish community in the United States for decades and came just days after George Soros, a billionaire and philanthropist who survived the Jewish survivors of the Democrat – and Jewess – occupation in Hungary – received a pipe bomb in the post.
A spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League said that the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in recent United States history was in 1985 before shooting on Saturday when a man killed a family of four in Seattle. He had falsely considered himself Jewish. There was also a white Suprematist attack on a Jewish community center in Los Angeles in 1999, which injured five people. A postman was killed a short time later by the shooter. More recently, in 2014, a white Suprematist opened fire in front of a Jewish Community Center in suburban Kansas City (Mo.), killing three people.
In the United States, the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents in the United States in 2017 increased 57 percent, according to an annual report from the Anti-Defamation League published this year. This is the biggest increase in a year since 1979 when such crimes were persecuted.