11 dead in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting; gunman charged with 29 counts

11 dead in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting; gunman charged with 29 counts

Pittsburgh vigil.

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — At least 11 people are dead after a gunman opened fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning, officials say. At least six people, including four officers, were also injured.

The shooting happened at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill community, which is about 10 miles outside of downtown Pittsburgh. The Pennsylvania attorney general said the gunman stormed the temple during a baby-naming ceremony.

All the latest developments on this tragic story for Channel 2 Action News at 6 p.m. 

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Police said the suspect entered the church with an assault rifle and at least three handguns. The suspect engaged SWAT teams in gunfire and was shot multiple times. He was taken into custody and is in the hospital in fair condition.

Law enforcement officials have identified the shooter as Robert Bowers, 46. Our sister station WPXI reports that the suspect talked about hatred for Jewish people while being taken into custody. Federal officials are treating the shooting as a hate crime.

As of Saturday night, Bowers has been charged with 29 counts.


12:57 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Steelers held a moment of silence before their kickoff against the Cleveland Browns.

12:30 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Penguins announced the organization will host a blood drive Monday night. The team will also collect donations during Tuesday's game against the New York Islanders.

9:23 a.m.

Allegheny County Medical Examiner Dr. Karl Williams released the names of the 11 victims. Their ages range from 54 to 97. A married couple and two brothers were among those killed.

9:20 a.m.

Pittsburgh Chief of Police Scott Schubert confirmed four officers were injured with three sustaining gunshot wounds. One officer was released yesterday and one will be released today. The other two remain hospitalized.

9:17 a.m.

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady confirmed that suspect Robert Bowers will face 29 separate federal charges, 22 of which are punishable by death.

Four guns were recovered at the scene of the shooting: an AR-15 rifle and three glock handguns.

9:06 a.m.

The FBI and Pittsburgh city officials held a briefing to give an update on their investigation into Saturday's mass shooting.

Update on Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Officials in Pittsburgh are giving an update on the deadly synagogue shooting that killed 11 people. Live Team 2 Coverage continues on Channel 2 Action News Sunday AM.

Posted by WSB-TV on Sunday, October 28, 2018

7 a.m.

Pope Francis led prayers for Pittsburgh's Jewish community on Sunday saying "all of us are wounded by this inhuman act of violence."


10:59 p.m.

President Trump has ordered flags flown at half-staff at federal buildings in "solemn respect" for the synagogue shooting victims.

9:17 p.m.

Federal prosecutors have charged suspected gunman in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting with 29 counts in deaths of 11 people:

  • 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

9:01 p.m.

Georgia candidates for governor, Stacey Abrams and Brian Kemp, have just issued statements:

7:40 p.m.

Thousands of people jammed an intersection amid a light rain for a vigil Saturday evening for the victims of a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue earlier in the day. The gathering included prayers and singing in memory of those killed and wounded.

A “vote, vote, vote” chant broke out during the emotional gathering where some derided the nation’s political climate.

Several attendees blamed the shooting on the nation’s political climate and said they took little solace in a planned visit by President Donald Trump.

6:45 p.m.

President Donald Trump says “the hearts of all Americans are filled with grief, following the monstrous killing” at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

Trump told a crowd at a political rally in Murphysboro, Illinois, that “the evil anti-Semitic attack is an assault on all of us.” He said: “This was an anti-Semitic attack at its worst.”

The president said it must be “confronted and condemned everywhere it rears it very ugly head” Trump said “through the centuries the Jews have endured terrible persecution” and said “When you have crimes like this... we have to bring back the death penalty.”

6:25 p.m.

People have gathered at churches all over Pittsburgh to support 11 fallen Jewish congregants killed in the mass shooting today as they worshiped.

6:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he will be going to Pittsburgh in the wake of a mass shooting at a synagogue. Speaking to reporters in southern Illinois before a rally, Trump confirmed he would go but did not offer details.

6:08 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama has issued a statement:

5:29 p.m.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has released a statement about today's mass shooting in Pittsburgh:

"We are deeply saddened by the news of another senseless mass shooting perpetrated in the name of hate. We stand with the people of Pittsburgh and with our Jewish brothers and sisters throughout our nation, and denounce hatred and anti-Semitism, in all forms.   

We also pray for the wounded first responders and remain grateful for their selfless acts of bravery. The Atlanta Police Department is on heightened alert and patrol units have been instructed to closely monitor activity around synagogues throughout the city. 
As a city and a nation, we are better and stronger than hate. We will continue to work towards fostering a deeper understanding and abiding respect for one another. "

5:17 p.m.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced that fed will file hate crimes and other charges against Robert Bowers that could lead to the death penalty.

5:02 p.m.

The FBI is at the home that is possibly where the alleged shooter lives:

4:30 p.m.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms is expressing sympathy for the people of Pittsburgh:

4:24 p.m.

The FBI said the suspect was not known to law enforcement before the synagogue shooting.

4:17 p.m.

Officials give an update, confirming 11 were killed in this morning's shooting. None of them were children: "The actions of Robert Bowers represent the worst of humanity."

HAPPENING NOW: Police give update on mass shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue

HAPPENING NOW: Police are giving update on the mass shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue this morning that left at least 11 dead: https://2wsb.tv/2PsAPbg

Posted by WSB-TV on Saturday, October 27, 2018

3:44 p.m.

The Center for Civil and Human Rights has released this statement:

“Acts of hatred targeting communities because of their faith, race, or ethnicity must stop. The mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue is unfortunately not an isolated incident. Although we are still learning more about this and other recent incidents, we must all agree that hate and bigotry - and the violent acts they motivate - are wrong. All of us have a responsibility to ensure a world without hate, and that responsibility is greater for those in positions of power and leadership. These acts of hate are not the new normal, and they must never become so. "Our thoughts are with the victims’ families and community members, and we deeply appreciate the swift action of the first responders.”

3:25 p.m.

At a rally in Indianapolis, Pres. Trump brings a Rabbi on to the stage to pray for the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting. He tells the crowd he will not change his rally schedule because evil should not win.

3:08 p.m.

The Associated Press is reporting that at least 10 people are dead after this morning's shooting.

2:44 p.m.

The Anti-Defamation League calls the shooting "likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.

2:32 p.m.

President Trump says the shooting 'looks definitely like an anti-Semitic crime.


"There is no room in America for violence and anti-Semitism. This evil has got to end," Vice President Mike Pence said at an event in Las Vegas.

1:59 p.m.

Ivanka Trump has issued a statement about the mass shooting:

1:57 p.m.

Officials have created a hotline for anyone looking for information on family members:

1:21 p.m.

Through tears, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich says the scene inside the synagogue is devastating: “It’s a very horrific crime scene. It’s one of the worst that I’ve seen.”

1:16 p.m.

Our sister station WXPI ups the number of officers injured to four, with two critically injured.

1:13 p.m.

The Jewish Federation of Atlanta issued a statement in response to the shooting in Pittsburgh, writing in a statement on Twitter:

"We are deeply distressed and saddened by the breaking news about the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. In light of this morning's situation, security has already been heightened in the Atlanta community."

1:15 p.m.

The Pennsylvania attorney general said the shooting happened at a baby naming ceremony, according to the Associated Press.

1:12 p.m.

The suspect is being treated at a Pittsburgh hospital for a gunshot wound.

12:53 p.m.

Our sister station WPXI said the suspect may have been motivated by hatred for the Jewish community.

12:50 p.m.

12:42 p.m.

Atlanta police say they are stepping up patrols in Zone 5 at Atlanta synagogues. Officials say at this time they have not received or been made aware of any threats.

12:41 p.m.

President Trump just spoke about the mass shooting in Pittsburgh:

12:00 p.m.

President Donald Trump was quick to weigh in on the situation.

We'll working to gather details on this developing story. Check back here and watch Channel 2 Action News for updates.