Less than a week before he shot up a synagogue full of people in Pittsburgh, Robert Bowers may have been watching Fox News. In combing through his social media feed, journalists have found words and phrases frequently used on the network sprinkled throughout his posts, CNN reports.
About 6 days before the shooting, Robert Bowers posted about the immigrant “invaders” headed toward the border. This word has been used a great deal by right-wing media in reference to the caravan coming toward the U.S. from Honduras. The group is mostly families, and many women and children are in the caravan.
And while at this point we don’t know exactly what Bowers was watching or when, it is well-known that this is the exact type of language used by Fox News. In fact, the word “invasion” was used on the network more than 60 times in October (and counting).
Just minutes before walking into the synagogue, Bowers was on social media writing about “invaders.”
“I’m going in,” he said in the post.
Dor Hadash, one of the congregations that rents space from the synagogue, maintains a partnership with HIAS. That is the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and it provides assistance to refugees.
In his final post on Gab, Robert Bowers wrote, “HIAS likes to bring in invaders that kill our people.”
Trump has been accused of spewing rhetoric that directly led to the deaths at the synagogue, something he has completely dismissed. On Monday, he used the word again in tweeting “This is an invasion of our Country…and our Military is waiting for you!”
Donald Trump and First Lady Melania visited Pittsburgh Tuesday to honor the 11 people shot dead. Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto (D) did not want Trump to visit, and more than 70,000 people signed a petition saying he is “not welcome” in their city.
Trump was greeted by protesters when he arrived at the synagogue, complete with chants of “President Hate, leave our state,” the BBC reports.
Bowers, 46, is currently in federal custody. He is expected to be charged with 29 different criminal acts. He was discharged from the hospital on Monday after being treated for gunshot wounds. He had his first court appearance the same day and requested to be represented by a public defender.
His next hearing is scheduled for November 1. Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty, according to USA Today.
Bowers marched into the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue on Saturday and began 20 minutes of terror in which he screamed about hating Jews, and ultimately killed 11 people. He was carrying an assault rifle and three handguns.