Robert Bowers, 46, Identified as Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooter

October 27, 2018 Updated: October 28, 2018

The suspect of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting has been identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers of Castle Shannon, Pennsylvania. Bowers has been arrested and hospitalized.

The shooting occurred on Oct. 27 at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood during a Shabbat religious service.

Eleven people were killed and six others injured. Four officers were shot during the incident and suffered non-fatal injuries.

The full motive for the shooting is still unclear at this time, although a police source told KDKA that the suspect had walked into the synagogue yelling “All Jews must die” before he opened fire.

Bowers also appears to have been active on the social media website Gab, which is popular with people who have been banned or censored from other social media sites. Bowers’ Gab profile said, “Jews are the children of Satan.”

Less than an hour before the shooting spree, Bowers posted on the website, saying: “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

HIAS is a nonprofit that describes itself as “helping refugees rebuild their lives in safety and sanity.”

Bowers also made or shared multiple anti-President Donald Trump posts. In one, he called Trump a “globalist” and said that Trump was not “winning.” In a comment on another, he said: “For the record, I did not vote for him.”

A local hospital said it was treating multiple victims in relation to the shooting. Paul Wood, the chief communications officer for the hospital system, said that the patients are receiving care at UPMC Presbyterian, but he did not reveal how many were there.

Shooter Opens Fire At Pittsburgh Synagogue
Police rapid response team members respond to the site of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 27, 2018. (Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)

The synagogue was holding a Shabbat religious service that started at 9:45 a.m. ET, according to the organization’s website. Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro told the press that a baby naming was being performed at the time.

Sam Schachner, the president of Tree of Life, said in a phone call he had no comment at this time.

Israel is expressing its shock and concern, and offering assistance to the local community following the shooting.

Minister Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Cabinet minister for diaspora affairs, made the comments shortly after news of the shooting reached his country.

Bennet said he is “following the news with concern,” and has instructed Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs to prepare to assist the community in every possible way.

He said: “Our hearts go out to the families of those killed and injured. May the memory of the murdered be blessed.”

Reuters and the Associated Press Contributed to this report.

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