11 victims murdered at a Pittsburgh synagogue were mostly older worshippers
Pittsburgh. The 11 victims murdered at a Pittsburgh synagogue in the deadliest attack ever on the Jewish community in the United States were mostly older worshippers, ranging in age from 54 to 97, officials said on Sunday.
The suspected gunman, 46-year-old Robert Bowers of Pittsburgh, stormed the building during a Saturday morning service and also wounded six other people including four police officers before being arrested.
Bowers, who made statements about genocide and his desire to kill Jewish people during the rampage, will make an initial appearance before a judge on Monday afternoon, U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said at a news conference.
“The fact that this attack took place during a worship service makes it even more heinous,” Brady said as reported by Reuters.
The Tree of Life synagogue in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighbourhood, a heavily Jewish area, was holding a Shabbat religious service when the gunman burst in.
Two brothers in their 50s and a husband and wife in their 80s were among those killed, according to the list of victims released by officials.
Two people were in critical condition at area hospitals and three others, including two police officers, were in stable condition. One police officer was treated and released on Saturday.
The mass shooting prompted security alerts at houses of worship around the country and condemnation from politicians and religious leaders.
It followed a spate of pipe bombs found mailed in recent days to prominent political figures, mostly Democrats including former U.S. President Barack Obama, ahead of Nov. 6 congressional elections.
“We’ll get through this darkest day of Pittsburgh history by working together,” the city’s mayor, Bill Peduto, told reporters.