In a statement in response to the shooting near a synagogue in Pittsburgh, President Donald Trump contented that the “devastating” outcome would have been different if the synagogue “had some kind of protection” from an armed guard, adding that it is a good idea for all churches and synagogues to consider implementing such measure, the Washington Post is reporting.
“It’s a ‘terrible thing what’s going on with hate in our country,” Trump told reporters Saturday at about 12:30 p.m. local time, according to the Washington Post, adding that the violence “has to stop.”
Speaking to reporters at Andrews Air Force Base before traveling to Indianapolis, the president also said that these types of shooters should receive the death penalty and “suffer the ultimate price.”
Robert Bowers, 46, has been identified as the man suspected of opening fire at the Tree of Life synagogue Saturday morning in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, known for its Jewish population, according to CNN. A law enforcement official told the publication that the suspect made anti-Semitic statements during the shooting.
Bowers allegedly walked into the crowded synagogue in the Jewish neighborhood and yelled “All Jews must die!” before opening fire, the Inquisitr previously reported.
CBS News is reporting that at least eight people have died in the shooting, while six others have been wounded. Four officers were shot during the incident, officials said, and their injuries are believed to be non-life-threatening, according to the report. The man reportedly fired on police when they arrived on the scene, but he was ultimately captured by police.
Bowers was possibly armed with an AK-47 and two pistols and had barricaded himself in a room at the synagogue, a law enforcement source told CBS News.
“It’s a very horrific crime scene. It’s one of the worst that I’ve seen,” Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said in a news conference, according to the CBS News report.
Bowers is said to have openly expressed his hatred of Jewish people on social media, including his belief that President Trump was controlled by Jews, according to the Inquisitr report. In one post on Twitter believed to belong to the suspect, Bowers attacked both Donald Trump and followers of the QAnon conspiracy, which claims that Trump is part of a secret alliance taking on the so-called “Deep State.”
“Trump is a globalist, not a nationalist,” read a post from two days ago. “There is no #MAGA as long as there is a k**e infestation.”