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January 29, 2020
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Pittsburgh synagogue shooting leaves 11 dead and 6 wounded; suspect hit with multiple charges

The suspected gunman behind Saturday’s shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue, which left 11 people dead and six more injured, has been formally charged, prosecutors said.

Robert Bowers, 46, was charged late Saturday with 29 counts of crimes of violence and firearms offenses after authorities say he carried out an anti-Semitic attack on Shabbat, the Jewish Sabbath. The bloody attack brought swift condemnation from President Trump and other leaders, and inspired a grim vigil in the city on Saturday night that attracted thousands.

Bowers is facing 11 counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death; 11 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; and three counts of use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said police were dispatched to Tree of Life Synagogue at 9:55 a.m. after receiving calls describing an active-shooter situation in the city’s predominantly Jewish Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

He confirmed the 11 deaths — none of them children. As for the injury tally, he said it did not include the shooter, who was taken to the hospital after being taken into custody.

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center officials said a 61-year-old woman was among the injured. Her injuries were described as “extremity soft tissue injuries that required cleaning in the operating room.” She is said to be in good condition and recovering.

Another victim was ID’d as a 70-year-old male with gunshot wounds to his torso “involving major organs in his abdomen.” He was undergoing his second operation and in critical condition, hospital officials said.

Police Chief Scott Schubert said that two police officers were hit during initial contact with the shooter and that two SWAT team members were also struck “during an engagement inside the building.” He confirmed that all four law enforcement officials are in stable condition.

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