Update (11:40 am ET): As police check the identity of the middle-aged suspect, here’s a recap of what we know so far…
At least 8 dead.
Gunman stormed Tree of Life Synagogue at corner of Wilkens and Shady Avenues.
Shooter was injured and cornered on third floor of synagogue
Three cops have been wounded.
Gunman preliminarily identified as Robert Bower, 46 years old, white male.
He reportedly shouted “all Jews must die” at police as he was being subdued.
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Update (11:35 am ET): Police have cleared the synagogue with a robot and are now seeking to clear it for bombs with a canine.
CNN reported that the synagogue has, in the past, been targeted with anti-semitic graffiti like swastikas. According to scanner reports, three officers were wounded in a gun-battle with the suspect. The FBI has been notified and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House is “continuing to monitor” the situation.
NBC News reported that a bris ceremony was taking place when the shooter barged in. Shabbat services had been scheduled for later that morning. While earlier scanner reports said as many as 11 were dead on arrival, multiple media reports say at least 8 people have died. The Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh said there were between 80 and 100 people inside during the shooting.
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Update (11:15 am ET): Police have the shooter in handcuffs and are in the process of clearing the synagogue. According to scanner reports, at least 11 people have been tagged “dead on arrival.”
Update (11:11 am ET): The suspect has reportedly surrendered according to police scanner reports. According to police scanner reports, he was armed with a Glock pistol and an AR-15.
At least four people have died and a cop has been shot in the wrist. The suspect is crawling out of the building and communicating with the SWAT team.
According to police, the suspect’s name is Robert Bower (though this hasn’t been confirmed yet by police). He is 46 years old. He reportedly shouted “all Jews must die” at police after being subdued. The suspect was officially in cuffs as of 11:13 am ET. He was described as wearing blue jeans and a green jacket.
Watching the events unfolding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Law enforcement on the scene. People in Squirrel Hill area should remain sheltered. Looks like multiple fatalities. Beware of active shooter. God Bless All!
More bodies are reportedly being brought out. Police have also found a “military style” package on the first floor.
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With the country still on edge from the flurry of more than a dozen attempted mail bombings of prominent Democratic political figures this past week, as many as eight people have been killed after a gunman opened fire during Shabbat services at a synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood. The shooter, who is armed with an AK-47, has taken members of the congregation hostage, according to Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate station.
Officers were forced to hide behind their cars after arriving at Tree of Life Congregation, which islocated on the corner of Wilkens and Shady Avenues, as the gunman opened fire on them. At least 4 have been confirmed dead, and scanner reports suggest the total could already be seven or eight. According to one report, the gunman is holed up on the third floor of the synagogue and is engaged in a gun battle with members of the SWAT team.
As one YouTuber who put the scanner feed online noted, “we’re listening to a terrorist attack in real time.”
Here are some excerpts from the scanner courtesy of RT:
Details of dramatic police standoff with the shooter are emerging via police radio broadcast on the Broadcastify website. An officer at the scene has told his colleagues over the police radio that there are “four down in the atrium.” Another one said “I’ve got one alive.”
“We need armor,” one police officer is heard saying, while another one requested to “open up the back for rescue.”
Saturday is Shabbat in the Jewish faith, and the shooting reportedly took place during a crowded prayer service. According to one local reporter, Tree of Life has one of the largest congregations in the city.
Oh no. No no no. This is Saturday, Shabbat, the busiest day of the week at a synagogue. Tree of Life is one of the most congregated in Pittsburgh. Please no. https://t.co/q0UgkNkLTs