UPDATES: Squirrel Hill Synagogue Shooting

Eleven people were killed, and six others injured, Saturday morning at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill. Authorities arrived on the scene and the gunman was taken into custody after suffering multiple gunshot wounds.

Page is being updated as details are released.

Update Thursday 10:12a: WPXI's Rick Earl in the court room. He says suspect pleaded Not Guilty. Requested Jury Trial. Arraignment lasted about five minutes

 

Update Thursday 9:58a: Suspect is in court now for arraignment. WPXI is reporting he is expected to plead not guilty.

Update Thursday 7:00a: Tree of Life Synagogue shooting suspect is due in court today at 10am. He will be charted with 44 counts, including obstruction of justice, use of a firearm to commit murder and obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs.

Update Tuesday 4:15p: Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala released a statment thru his office. The federal authorities are taking over prosecution at this time. He maintains "I believe this is clearly a capital case."

Read the full release here

Ideally, as with these previous prosecutions, the residents of our county would be theones to sit in judgement of the individual charged with these crimes and should be given the opportunity to determine guilt and subsequent punishment. 

.....

While we are confident that we can move forward with our prosecution, as a practical matter, the circumstances indicate that it is prudent to allow this case to proceed at the federal level at this time.

 

Update Tuesday 4:00p: Pittsburgh Police released names of the wounded officers and updates on their condition.

  • Timothy Matson - Multiple gunshot wounds. Still in hospital.
  • Daniel Mead - Gunshot wound to the hand. Still in hospital.
  • Anthony Burke - Gunshot wound to the hand. Released from hospital.
  • Michael Smidga - Graze wound and/or shrapnel wound to the head. Released from hospital.

Update Tuesday 3:50p: WPXI received word that Bowers is being held in the Butler County Prison.

Update Tuesday 3:00p: ATF released statment on their weapon investigation. Found all of the weapons were purchased and possessed legally by Bowers.

 

Update Monday 5:10p: UPMC released an update on the four wounded victims.

At UPMC Presbyterian, a 61-year-old female is in stable condition; a 70-year-old male is in critical condition; a 55-year-old male officer is in stable condition; and a 40-year-old male officer is in critical condition.

 

Update Monday 4:00p: WPXI reporting that FBI agents are interviewing past and present neighbors of suspect. 

 

Update Monday 1:50p: U.S. Attorney Scott Brady held a press conference after suspects 1:30p hearing. Notes are below.

  • Bowers will be held in detention facility without bond.
  • His preliminary hearing will be Thursday, Nov 1st at 10am. 
  • At that hearing prosecutors will be able to present evidence that Bowers murdered 11 people who were exercising their religious beliefs and shot/injured six others.
  • Under law, prosecutors must present evidence within 30 days.

WPXI also reported:

  • Bowers received court appointed attorney.
  • Hearing lasted around five minutes.
  • He is currently in custody of U.S. Marshals.

UPDATE: Video added from the short press conference. Skip to 22:28 to hear Scott Brady speak.

 
 

Update Monday 11:55p: AP and WPXI reporting, Bowers has arrived at the courthouse. He is scheduled to sit before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell at 1:30 today.

 

Update Monday 9:58p: WPXI Mike Holden reporting that synagogue shooting suspect was released from Hospital and will be transported by U.S. Marshals to courthouse.

 

Updates from Sunday are below.

Update 8:00p: AP received word from U.S. Attorney Scott Brady that federal prosecutors are waiting for approval to pursue the death penalty against Robert Bowers.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ approval is required by law before they can pursue as a capital case.

Read more here.

 
 

UPDATE 6:30p: An interfaith vigil was held Sunday evening by The Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh at The Soldiers and Sailors Memorial.

We've added photos from the Vigil, HERE. A recorded video stream is below.

 

UPDATE Sunday 9:30a: Federal prosecutors held a press conference Sunday morning. US Attorney Scott Brady lead it off and was followed by: Robert Jones (FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent), Wendell Hissrich, Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert, Karl Williams (Chief Medical Examiner), Jeff Finkelstein, and Mayor Bill Peduto.

  • FBI confirmed that some of the Federal counts are punishable by death.
  • Bowers was officially taken into FBI custody last night but currently remains in the hospital for treatment. He is listed in fair condition.
  • Crime scene may take up to a week to process and the area around Wilkins/Shady will remain closed for up to a week.
  • Searches of Bowers properties are continuing.
  • Four officers were injured. One was released from hospital yesterday. One hopefully to be released today. The others will need to stay under hospital supervision.
  • The 11 victims have been identified. They ranged in age from 54-97 and included brothers and a husband and wife. Their names are below.
    • Joyce Feinberg, 75, of Oakland
    • Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township
    • Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill
    • Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood
    • Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill
    • David Rosenthal, 54, of Squirrel Hill
    • Bernice Simon, 84, of Wilkinsburg
    • Sylvan Simon, 86 of Wilkinsburg
    • Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill
    • Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill
    • Irving Younger, 69, of Mount Washington
 

UPDATE Sunday 8:57a: Mayor Bill Peduto did an interview on the Today Show. Video is embedded below.

"Pittsburgh is stronger than hate."

 

Updates from Saturday are below.

UPDATE 10:30p: According to AP President Donald Trump has ordered flags at all federal buildings throughout the US to be flown at half-staff in “solemn respect” for the shooting victims at a Pittsburgh synagogue. The flags shall remain lowered until Oct. 31. AP.

Allegheny County DA has released their list of charges being filed.

  • 11 counts of criminal homicide
  • 6 counts of criminal attempted homicide
  • 6 counts of aggravated assault
  • 13 counts of ethnic intimidation
 

UPDATE 9:17p: WPXI and AP are reporting Bowers is being charged with 29 federal counts of violence and firearms charges. Scott W. Brady, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, announced them as follows:

  • Eleven counts of Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Beliefs Resulting in Death 
  • Eleven counts of Use of a Firearm to Commit Murder During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence
  • Four counts of Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Beliefs Resulting in Bodily Injury to a Public Safety Officer
  • Three counts of Use and Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence

Prosecutors have scheduled a Sunday morning news conference to discuss the case.

More details on AP.

 

UPDATE: 8:50p: WPXI is reporting that the four law enforcement officers wounded are all now being listed in stable condition.

UPDATE: 6:30p: A vigil was organized and is underway in Squirrel Hill to honor the victims. Photos below.

UPDATE 5:45p: Next media press conference will be Sunday October 28, 2018 at 9 a.m. We will update this page with coverage as soon as possible.

 

UPDATE 5:30p: Attorney General Jeff Sessions says Justice Department will file Hate Crime amongst other charges.

In a statement, Sessions said the killings were "reprehensible and utterly repugnant to the values of this nation."

 

UPDATE 4:10p: Wendell Hissrich spoke at this afternoon's press conference. He was joined by Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert, FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent Bob Jones, Governor Tom Wolf, US Attorney Scott Brady, and Dr. Don Yealy from UPMC Pittsburgh.

These incidents usually occur in other cities. Today the nightmare has hit home in the city of Pittsburgh", Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich

  • First call was received at 9:54a. Officers dispatched 9:55a.
  • Commended all first responders, agencies, and all individuals involved.
  • 11 Confirmed fatalities with 6 additional injuries. No children killed. Those numbers do not include suspect.
  • Victims sent to hospitals including UPMC Mercy and UPMC Presby. Two still listed in critical condition. Others considered well, but still seriously injured.
  • Both Officers and both Swat team members that were injured are listed as in stable condition.
  • No names or information about those killed to be released at this time. 
  • FBI confirmed this is being treated as Hate Crime.
  • Wendell Hissrich confirmed suspect is at AGH and being treated for multiple gunshot wounds.
  • There will be a follow up press conference tomorrow.

UPDATE 3:30p: WPXI reporting now that 11 Dead and 6 Injured. Also stating that Bowers is no longer in the Emergency Room and moved to another unit at AGH. Other sources tell them that Bowers had One rifle and Three One Pistol with him.

UPDATE 3:10p: AP reporting now that at least ten people have been killed in this morning's shooting.

 

UPDATE 2:44p: FBI investigation is underway. Reports released that they have arrived at a location in Castle Shannon where the suspect lives or might have lived in the past. Also checking out a connection to a business he might of owned in Bridgeville.

UPDATE 2:00p: WPXI has heard from police sources that one officer injured today is currently in surgery and still listed in critical condition. The second officer is no longer listed as critical.

UPDATE 1:50p: If you are looking to help, Vitalant (formally Central Blood Bank) is saying blood donations are in high demand. See image below for where you can donate or WPXI.com for more details. They will be extending hours at the following area donation centers until 5 p.m. Saturday:

  • Butler
  • Cranberry
  • Downtown
  • Harmar/Fox Chapel
  • Greensburg
  • Monroeville
  • Moon Township
  • North Hills
  • Parkway Center
  • South Hills
  • Washington
  • Peters Township
  • St. Clair Hospital

UPDATE 1:39p: WPXI's Gordon Loesch reports: Four current patients are reported to be at UPMC Presbyterian. Three of those are in Surgery. One is stable and waiting for surgery. One additional was treated and released. Another victim is at UPMC Mercy and currently in surgery.

UPDATE 1:15p: Tom Wolf and then Wendell Hissrich (Public Safety Director) spoke during a press conference.

  • Emergency hotline has been set up for people to call for assistance - 412-432-4400.
  • A reunification center for families is being set up at Chatham University - 106 Berry Street
  • This is now being considered a Hate Crime and FBI will be taking over further investigation.
  • Six injuries. Four of which are police officers. He had no additional comment on deaths.
  • No additional comment on identities of victims.
  • He stated there is no more indication of threat.
  • Squirrel Hill can now leave their homes
  • Another press conference will be held at 4pm.
 
 

UPDATE 12:42p: Senior law enforcement is identifying suspect as Robert Bowers, 46 years old From Pittsburgh. WPXI is reporting he is being treated at Allegheny General Hospital for gun shot wound to rib cage area.

UPDATE 12:30p: WPXI reports that some victims have been transported to UMPC Presbyterian for treatment.

UPDATE 12:04p: Two officers reported in critical condition and in surgery. Eight people dead. Governor Tom Wolf is in Squirrel Hill.

“We must all pray and hope for no more loss of life,” Wolf said. “But we have been saying “this one is too many” for far too long. Dangerous weapons are putting our citizens in harm’s way.”

Read his full statement here.

UPDATE 11:27a: Suspect is confirmed in custody. Three officers have been injured.

UPDATE 11:20a: WPXI reporting the suspect has surrendered to police inside the synagogue and at least four dead. 

UPDATE 11:00a: Police confirmed there have been multiple casualties. 

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News outlets in Pittsburgh are reporting an Active shooter situation in Squirrel Hill in the area of the Tree of Life Synagogue on Wilkins Avenue.

Pittsburgh Pubic Safety is says this an active situation and urging all residents to stay in and off the streets.

More updates available on WPXI.com. We will update this page as more information is released.

Carnegie Mellon University, which is located near the synagogue, has been placed on lockdown. 

Some photos from the scene.

 
 
 
 
 

Images Courtesy of Getty Images.

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