Accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, his daughter and son in law, President Trump visited the Pennsylvania synagogue after tragedy struck over the weekend.
In case you haven’t heard, there was a mass shooting in Pittsburgh on Saturday morning. Officials have stated that suspect Robert Bowers, 46, had charged into the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue at about 9:54 a.m. ET. In what wound up being a 20-minute attack, eleven lives were taken. On top of this, two other Jewish worshippers and four officers were injured. Bowers had posted anti-Semitic rants on social media and claimed HIAS (the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) of bringing “invaders in that kill our people” prior to the shooting.
Only minutes after the conflict had begun, first responders were on scene. According to dispatches and police reports, as officers entered the synagogue they discovered victims already dead. Still, they began escorting victims and wounded survivors out and into safety, even while reportedly being fired upon. Four officers had been injured, and even though their names haven’t been revealed, two are policemen and two are SWAT operators. As of Monday, two had been released, while one remains in stable condition and the last still requiring intensive care.
On Tuesday, President Trump traveled to Pittsburgh in order to “express the support of the American people and grieve with the Pittsburgh community,” Sarah Sanders, White House press secretary, told media Monday. Despite facing hundreds of protesters chanting anti-presidential slogans, the Trumps carried on with their visit. They met with Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who privately led them inside the temple. Outside at a memorial, Mrs. Trump placed flowers and her husband laid a small stone on a marker for each victim after the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history unfolded.
Suspect Robert Bowers made court appearance in a wheelchair, after surviving wounds Saturday in a gunfight with police. US Attorney Scott Brady is seeking the death penalty for Bowers, and has the support of the president. “When people do this, they should get the death penalty.” stated Trump. Bowers is facing 29 criminal charges, of which include 11 federal hate-crimes. Another 11 of them are counts of using a firearm to kill and each carry a maximum penalty of death. Searches of Bowers’ home and vehicle are still being conducted to further understand the reasoning and motive behind this heinous attack.
Works Cited: BBC.com, USAToday.com