Hate Crime Charges in Synagogue Shooting That Left 11 Dead

Hate Crime Charges in Synagogue Shooting That Left 11 Dead

Eleven Jews were killed during a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Do you think the shooter deserves the death penalty?

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A tragic day unfolded on Oct. 27 of this year for the people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Pennsylvanian Robert Bowers, 46, stormed the synagogue and opened fire, killing 11 people on Saturday, according to a source.

During the shooting, he made anti-Semitic statements; he also targeted Jews on social media, as reported by a federal law enforcement official. Bowers surrendered to authorities the next morning.

He faces 29 charges after he went on a rampage that left the historic Jewish neighborhood of Squirrel Hill and the rest of the nation stunned. In fact, the attack is believed to be the deadliest in the Jewish community in U.S. history, the Anti-Defamation League stated.

According to USA Today, the 29 crimes include “11 counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death, 11 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence, four counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer, and three counts of use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.”

“The crimes of violence are based upon the federal civil rights laws prohibiting hate crimes,” said Scott Brady, U.S. Attorney, and Bob Jones, the FBI special agent in charge of the Pittsburgh office, in an announcement.

The shooter could face the death penalty if he is convicted of a hate crime.

Six people were injured during the attack, four of whom were police officers who responded to the scene. No children were killed, notedPittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich.

“The actions of Robert Bowers represent the worst of humanity,” Scott Brady said.

Shots were fired just before 10 a.m. on Saturday, the violence shaking the city and the neighborhood nearby the synagogue.

One man who lives across the street, Jim Waite, revealed that he went outside after hearing a commotion. He initially thought it was a car accident. A police car soared past him and another officer yelled to get inside. Waite also added that he then heard more than five – perhaps as many as nine – shots.

Waite noted he could hear screams coming from inside the synagogue.

At 9:54 a.m., the Allegheny County emergency operations center received calls of an active shooter, a source revealed, and officers were dispatched a minute later.

The suspect was about to leave just as he encountered a Pittsburgh police officer who “engaged him,” Jones said. The officer was then injured, and the suspect went back into the synagogue, where he hid from SWAT officers who arrived at the scene.

In total, two police officers and two SWAT officers were wounded in the confrontation, as reported by Hissrich. Three of them were shot, according to the city’s public safety department.

The suspect received multiple gunshot wounds and was in fair condition at a hospital.

A rifle and three handguns were recovered from the scene by investigators, Jones stated. Authorities believe the suspect acted alone. Law enforcement had no knowledge of Bowers prior to the shooting, he added.

Five victims were being treated at two Pittsburgh hospitals, according to a spokesman for University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Paul Wood. Four victims were being treated at UPMC Presbyterian, and one victim was being treated at UPMC Mercy. Another person was treated at Presbyterian and released.

Social media posts were part of the investigation, a law enforcement source revealed to CNN. Investigators believe an account on Gab, a social media platform, that promoted anti-Semitic views belonged to the shooter.

A last ominous post was made at exactly 9:49 a.m., just five minutes before police were informed of the shooting.

Bowers wrote, “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered” and added, “Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

Moreover, his anti-Semitic comments on Gab, which puts nearly no restrictions on content, fueled other hate speech. Bowers repeatedly called Jewish people “invaders.”

Some statements also included criticism of President Donald Trump, who Bowers suggested is surrounded by too many Jewish people. “Trump is surrounded by k****”, “things will stay the course,” read one post on Gab, which included a derogatory term for Jews.

Likewise, four hours before the shooting, Bowers commented in a post that he did not vote for Trump.

In a statement, the social media platform disavowed “all acts of terrorism and violence” and said its mission is “to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people.”

A mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue resulted in the death of 11 Jews. Do you think the shooter should get the death penalty? Read more on this story on CNN here.


Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Eleven Jews were killed during a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Do you think the shooter deserves the death penalty?

Totals
92% All the way
8% Just put him in prison
Males
92% All the way
8% Just put him in prison
Females
90% All the way
10% Just put him in prison

All the way

Just put him in prison

Hate Crime Charges in Synagogue Shooting That Left 11 Dead


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