Wednesday, 14 November, 2018

Pittsburgh synagogue victims include 97-year-old, pair of brothers

Police officers guard the Tree of Life synagogue following shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania US Police officers guard the Tree of Life synagogue following shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania US
Gerardo Duncan | 29 October, 2018, 16:43

The mass shooting, called the deadliest attack on Jews in USA history, hit particularly close to home for Aaron, who said she used to live just a block away from Tree of Life, which is nestled in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood near several universities.

Francis led prayers for Pittsburgh on Sunday in St. Peter's Square, a day after a gunman who had expressed hatred of Jews opened fire in the synagogue during Sabbath services, killing 11 people.

The 29 charges against Bowers include obstruction of religious beliefs resulting in death and obstruction of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer.

The Squirrel Hill area was home to the late Fred Rogers whose long-running children's television show Mr Rogers Neighborhood featured lessons on friendship and kindness.

Rabbi Jonathan Berkun, of Aventura Turnberry Jewish Center, wrote a blog post about his connection to the Pittsburgh synagogue that was attacked.

The Pittsburgh synagogue attack is the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in recent USA history, and has sparked a flood of global condemnation and warnings about the rise of hate speech.

President Donald Trump addressed the shooting at length on Saturday, denouncing it as "a wicked act of mass murder", saying: "We must stand with our Jewish brothers and sisters to defeat anti-Semitism and vanquish the forces of hate".

"If they had some kind of a protection inside the temple maybe it could have been a much more different situation, they didn't", he said when asked if there was any link to U.S. gun laws.

"Honestly I think this president's whole modus operandi is to divide us. He gets up in the morning with new and inventive ways to divide us", Schiff said on CNN's State of the Union.

Chicago police did not receive any threats to the city or the vigil, but officers and K9s were deployed to the vigil to ensure a visible presence, officials said.

"We encourage people of all faith orientations to attend to offer solidarity with the victims of violence and hatred", Biatch said in a statement early Sunday morning.

Al Jazeera's Shihab Rattansi reports from Pittsburgh. The youngest of the victims was Cecil's brother David Rosenthal, 54, who also had an intellectual disability.

Rose Mallinger was the oldest victim and was the "sweetest, lovely lady" according to a Tree of Life congregant of the synagogue.

US Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News Sunday that DHS officials visited the Pittsburgh synagogue in March to provide training on active shooter responses.

Police said the suspect had three handguns and an assault-style rife at the shooting.

Police swarmed the building and traded gunfire with the gunman, who was shot multiple times but survived.

Bowers has been arrested and is being treated for gunshot wounds at a hospital.

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