UPDATES: Sadly, both the death and injury tolls have risen. This on social media from the Times.
11 fatalities, no children in Pittsburgh shooting, authorities announce. 6 injured, including 4 police officers, but not the shooter.
— Trip Gabriel (@tripgabriel) October 27, 2018
Our prayers for all the victims’ family and friends.
We previously noted there were suggestions that the shooter’s social media accounts contained blatant antisemitic threats. That’s been confirmed now as the NY Post reports.
The man who killed eight people at a Pittsburgh synagogue was a virulent anti-Semite who apparently posted, “Screw your optics. I’m going in,” just hours before entering the house of worship with guns blazing.
The guy demonstrates plenty of racist attitudes as his former employer attested to, but he clearly had it in for the Jews.
While originally only two handguns were reported, the shooter used an AR-15 in the initial attack.
Pittsburgh synagogue gunman opened fire with an AR-15 before surrendering https://t.co/9ea7WiiVXt
— Daily Mail US (@DailyMail) October 27, 2018
Also, a phone number has been set up for any questions from family members of the victims. (412)-432-4400.
Original post continues:
The shooting this morning at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh was a particularly grisly one. With eight dead and an unknown number of injuries, including three police officers, the motivation for this mass shooting seems clear. Police on the scene have confirmed to local media that the shooter is in custody. He’s a white male with a beard named Robert Bowers. According to the reporters on the scene, one officer stated that Bowers entered the synagogue with multiple weapons, shouting, “All Jews must die” before opening fire. (KDKA Pittsburgh)
Eight people have been killed and a number of others injured after a shooting situation at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill on Saturday.
KDKA’s Meghan Schiller reports that a suspect, a heavy-set white male with a beard, has surrendered. The SWAT team had been talking with the suspect, and he was crawling and injured. It is unclear the extent of his injuries.
KDKA sources confirm the suspect is Robert Bowers.
This guy knew precisely the time to attack to achieve the most fatalities. There were three congregations’ services taking place on the premises at the same time with nearly 100 people in the building. When Bowers surrendered he allegedly had one handgun in his waistband and another strapped above his ankle. There were conflicting reports coming out as to whether he had more weapons with him.
We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves at this point. Rumors about some of Bowers’ social media posts were making the rounds immediately, but you know how those go in the early hours after an attack such as this. The one thing which we can safely say based on law enforcement accounts is that Bowers is a vicious antisemite. Whether or not he belongs to any hate groups will no doubt become evident in the hours and days to come.