The heroic police response to today’s mass shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue has been revealed as details emerge of the terrifying events, as reported by the Daily Mail. Four police officers who rushed into heavy automatic weapon fire to take down the assailant were among the six injured. Shooter Robert Bowers succeeded in murdering eleven people at a baby-naming ceremony in the Tree of Life synagogue, but according to Allegheny County Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich, the officers prevented an even greater tragedy.
Speaking of the officers who responded to the call with extreme courage under fire, Hissrich held back tears.
“Without their courage this tragedy would have been far worse.”
At 9:49 AM, the 46-year-old Bowers posted on the social media platform Gab before entering the synagogue. His message criticized the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, a Jewish organization that advocates for immigrants and refugees.
Five minutes later, the first 9-1-1 calls reporting an active shooter in the synagogue began to come in.
Within a couple of minutes, the first officers arrived on the scene, as two uniformed policemen pulled up to the synagogue and rushed toward the gunfire. They were met by the suspect as he was exiting the synagogue with an AR-15 assault rifle, and the three men exchanged fire. Both officers were wounded as other units began to arrive, and the suspect fled back into the synagogue.
As a standoff between multiple law enforcement responders and the suspect ensued with both sides exchanging gunfire, officers risked their lives to extract people from the synagogue to get them out of the crossfire. The shooting continued as law enforcement encircled the suspect and began to close in. During the exchange, two SWAT team officers were shot and injured.
Eventually, Bowers was struck and wounded by police gunfire, effectively ending the standoff.
All four wounded officers were rushed to emergency centers and are currently in stable condition.
The two uniformed officers were taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital. One had surgery to treat multiple extremity wounds, while the other had soft tissue injuries that require evaluation.
One of the SWAT officers was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital, where he was treated for an extremity injury that required intervention and evaluation in the Operating Room. The other is being treated at Allegheny General for undisclosed injuries.
The two civilians who were injured include a 61-year-old woman and a 70-year-old man. The man is in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the torso.
Bowers remains in custody and faces prosecution under federal hate crime statutes. An indictment is pending.
“This is the most horrific crime scene I have seen in 22 years as a member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” said Bob Jones, the Special Agent In Charge of the investigation.