Gunman kills 11 people, injures six, in massacre in Pittsburgh synagogue – DEBKAfile

Source: Gunman kills 11 people, injures six, in massacre in Pittsburgh synagogue – DEBKAfile

Shouting “All Jews must die,” a gunman walked into the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Penn. during the Sabbath service. He was taken into custody after killing 11 people and injuring at least six, including three police first responders, in a massacre.

The first task of the police was to evacuate worshipers trapped in the building, while under fire from the gunman.  He also opened fire on the ambulances and police forces concentrated outside the building including a SWAT team and was finally captured after he staged a shootout from the third floor window of the building.  Officers sheltered behind cars.  Officers sheltered behind cars. Witnesses described a heavy-set white male armed with a semiautomatic assault rifle and two pistols, who entered the building during morning service. He then barricaded himself in a room at the synagogue.

President Donald Trump tweeted he was watching the event. In a second Twitter, he said the incident was “more devastating than was thought. It’s a terrible thing.”
Initial interrogation of the suspect must discover whether this was a lone crime. He may be charged with a hate crime or terrorism.

The Squirrel Hill synagogue is 150 years old and a popular Conservative place of worship in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood. Four congregations share the building. The doors were not locked during the Sabbath service and there were no guards on the door. These precautions are only taken on the High Holidays.  Synagogue staff have taken training from Homeland Security instructors. Following the attack, US police posted special forces at Jewish institutions across the country.

 

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