Pennsylvania synagogue shooting kills 11
October 28th, 2018 at 5:35 pm
Pennsylvania synagogue shooting kills 11

International desk – At least 11 people have been killed after a man fired his gun in a synagogue in Pittsburgh of Pennsylvania in the United States, police said.

The man entered the synagogue on Saturday morning and fired indiscriminately when worshippers gathered at for a baby naming ceremony, killing the people inside.

Police charged a man, Robert Bowers, 46, suspected of the killing with murder – in what is believed to be the worst anti-Semitic attack in recent US history.

Bowers is accused of opening fire at the Tree of Life synagogue during its Sabbath service.

He faces 29 criminal counts, including use of a firearm to commit murder.

Federal prosecutors say they will also file hate crime charges, and the suspect could face the death penalty, according to BBC.

President Donald Trump described the attack as a “wicked act of mass murder”.

Six people – including four police officers – were injured in Saturday’s attack. The suspect was also wounded in a shootout with police.

Hundreds of people – from the neighbourhood and also all across Pittsburgh – later gathered for an interfaith vigil for the victims of the attack in the synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

President Trump, who plans to visit Pittsburgh soon, ordered US flags at government buildings to be flown at half-mast until 31 October.

Police said they received first calls about an active shooter at 09:54 local time, and sent officers to the scene a minute later.

According to reports, Bowers, a white male, entered the building during the morning service armed with an assault rifle and three handguns.

The gunman had already shot dead 11 people and was leaving the synagogue after about 20 minutes when he encountered Swat officers and exchanged fire with them, FBI agent Robert Jones said.

The attacker then moved back into the building to try to hide from the police.

He surrendered after a shootout, and is now being treated in hospital for what has been described as multiple gunshot wounds, according to the BBC.