[This article has been updated.]
At least eight people are reported to have been killed in a deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, according to various emerging reports.
KDKA-2 (a CBS affiliate station) reported that law enforcement officials rushed to The Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania after receiving reports that a gunman had opened fire during a prayer meeting. Multiple people are reported to have been injured while police believe the number of fatal casualties may rise.
At the time of writing, the active shooter is no longer at large, with KDKA reporting that a white male has surrendered. KDKA reporter Megan Schiller said that the suspect, whom some reports have suggested to be in his 40s, appeared to be injured, and was crawling at the time she saw him. As reported by The Guardian, the suspect reportedly “walked in yelling ‘All Jews must die’”.
When officers arrived on the scene, the suspect reportedly fired at them, shooting at least two of them.
The Tree of Life synagogue describes itself as “a traditional, progressive and egalitarian congregation.”
Donald Trump took to Twitter following in the wake of the shooting.
“Watching the events unfolding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Law enforcement on the scene.
People in Squirrel Hill area should remain sheltered. Looks like multiple fatalities. Beware of active shooter. God Bless All!”
This shooting comes fast on the heels of the spate of mail bombs that rocked the nation earlier this week.
The identity of the shooter has been revealed. The suspect that police have in their custody is believed to be 46-year-old Robert Bowers. His Twitter profile paints him as a Trump-hater who is prejudiced against Jews. In one of his Twitter posts, Bowers wrote that “Trump was a globalist, not a nationalist.”
Gov. Tom Wolf lamented the tragedy, decrying the “senseless acts of violence” before pleading that America needs people to come together at this critical time.
“And in the aftermath of this tragedy, we must come together and take action to prevent these tragedies in the future. We cannot accept this violence as normal,” the governor said in his statement.
Donald Trump spoke to reporters after the incident, as shown in a video posted to Twitter by CNN contributor Keith Boykin. Trump referred to the gunman as a “wacko” who wouldn’t have been able to take the lives of so many had the synagogue made arrangements to have armed guards during prayer meetings. The president also insinuated that a “death penalty” to the perpetrators of such crimes can prevent future tragedies.