The 20-minute attack at Tree of Life Congregation in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood also wounded six people, including four police officers who dashed to the scene to help what were reported to be hostages, authorities said.
“It’s a terrible thing what’s going on with hate in our country,” Trump told the press on Oct. 27.
Events in Pittsburgh are far more devastating than originally thought. Spoke with Mayor and Governor to inform them that the Federal Government has been, and will be, with them all the way. I will speak to the media shortly and make further statement at Future Farmers of America.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2018
Police told local media that the gunman had yelled “All Jews must die” as he walked into the synagogue and opened fire.
Trump also said that shooters in similar cases involving innocent victims of hate crimes should receive the death penalty. “They should pay the ultimate price,” he said.
The President added from Andrews Air Force Base on the way to Indianapolis: “If they had protection inside, the results would have been far better. If they had some kind of protection inside the temple, maybe it could have been a very much different situation.”
“They didn’t have protection. They had a maniac walk in and they didn’t have any protection.”
He told reporters that the violence “has to stop.”
The suspect has been identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers of Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania. Bowers has been arrested and hospitalized.
The full motive for the shooting is still unclear, although Bowers’ antisemitic views are becoming clearer as the investigation continues.
A local hospital said it was treating multiple victims. Paul Wood, the chief communications officer for the hospital system, said the patients are receiving care at UPMC Presbyterian.
The synagogue was holding a Shabbat religious service that started at 9:45 a.m. ET, according to the organization’s website. Sam Schachner, president of Tree of Life, said in a phone call he had no comment at this time.
Israel has expressed shock and concern and is offering assistance to the local community.
I was heartbroken and appalled by the murderous attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue today: pic.twitter.com/NBMO31lMU2
— Benjamin Netanyahu (@netanyahu) October 27, 2018
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has condemned the attack.
“I was heartbroken and appalled by the murderous attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue today,” Netanyahu said in a video message posted on Twitter shortly after news of the attack reached Israel.
Netanyahu says all of Israel is grieving with the families of the dead.
“We stand together with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. We stand together with the American people in the face of this horrendous anti-Semitic brutality. And we all pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded,” he added.
Netanyahu posted the same message in Hebrew on Twitter minutes later.
The Associated Press and Charlotte Cuthbertson from the Epoch Times contributed to this report.