The horrific act of domestic terror that took the lives of at least 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue and injured 6 others took place as a gay couple was holding a bris for their adopted twins.
The Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh wrote: “We were just informed that this morning’s tragedy was happening during a Briss for a set of twins adopted by a gay couple. Our hearts and prayers go out to all that were involved including the members of the Synagogue, law-enforcement and first responders. We have witnessed the worst of America this morning in our town Pittsburgh. More than ever we must come together as people and change the temperament of our country.”
The terror suspect, identified as Robert Bowers “told a SWAT officer while receiving medical care that he wanted all Jews to die and that Jews ‘were committing genocide to his people,'” according to a criminal complaint.
CNN reports: ‘Dozens of people had arrived to the Tree of Life synagogue that morning to celebrate Shabbat services. By dawn Sunday, crowds took to the streets of the historically Jewish Squirrel Hill neighborhood despite the rain to light candles and mourn the people killed there. The attack is the deadliest on a Jewish community in US history, the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement. Authorities believe the suspect acted alone. Bowers remains in the hospital, under guard, after undergoing surgery, Jones said. He’s in fair condition. He faces 29 federal charges, some of which are punishable by death, and he’s scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday afternoon.’
The Washington Post added: ‘Saturday’s deadly attack took place against the backdrop of a particularly toxic era in American political and social life. Many Americans believe that the increase in anti-Semitism, xenophobia and racism over the past two years has been stoked by the rhetoric of some of the nation’s top leaders, particularly President Trump, whose ongoing rallies are marked by denunciations of immigrants and the deriding of “globalists,” which is viewed as a code word for Jews. Most recently, he has declared himself a “nationalist,” thrilling some of his followers who identify themselves as white nationalists.’
As you know, earlier today there was a horrific shooting targeting and killing Jewish Americans at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The shooter is in custody, and federal authorities have been dispatched to support state and local police… pic.twitter.com/WqO7GfPyMT
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2018
Trump suggested that the shooting could have been prevented had there been an armed guard inside the synagogue.
Pittsburgh’s mayor had this response: “I think the approach that we need to be looking at is how to take the guns – which is the common denominator of every mass shooting in America – out of the hands of those that are looking to express hatred through murder.”
The Human Rights Campaign’s President Chad Griffin released a statement following the mass shooting:
“This is a horrific attack on the Jewish community that has been motivated by anti-Semitism. Our hearts are with the community of the Tree of Life Synagogue, the first responders who bravely rushed into danger to save lives, the people of Pittsburgh, and all those impacted by this tragic act of hate violence. After Newtown, our nation called for action. After Tucson, Virginia Tech, Aurora, San Bernardino, Charleston, and Alexandria, we called for action. After the shooting at Pulse Nightclub more than two years ago, we called for action. After Parkland and Las Vegas, we called for action. Yet, in the face of these mounting tragedies, many of our lawmakers have refused to act on meaningful gun safety legislation. And it is no surprise how these tragedies so often intersect with vile hatred, this time against the Jewish community. As these politicians fail to act, at least seven people were killed and numerous others injured while gathered in prayer. It’s time for Congress and the White House to act. We need leadership now, not more victim-blaming and divisive rhetoric that could result in more senseless deaths. We must continue to demand action until our lawmakers either hear us — or we have new lawmakers.”