A man suspected of killing 11 people in a synagogue in Pittsburgh has been charged with murder – in what is believed to be the worst anti-Semitic attack in recent US history.
Robert Bowers, 46, is accused of opening fire at the Tree of Life synagogue during its Sabbath service.He faces 29 criminal counts, including use of a firearm to commit murder. Federal prosecutors say they will also file hate crime charges, and the suspect could face the death penalty.
President Donald Trump described the attack as a “wicked act of mass murder”. Six people – including four police officers – were injured in Saturday’s attack.
The suspect was also wounded in a shootout with police.
The assailant, identified by law enforcement officials as Robert D. Bowers, fired for several minutes and was leaving the synagogue when officers, dressed in tactical gear and armed with rifles, met him at the door. According to the police, Mr. Bowers exchanged gunfire with officers before retreating back inside and barricading himself inside a third-floor room. He eventually surrendered.
Mr. Bowers, 46, was injured by gunfire, although the authorities said it was unclear whether those wounds were self-inflicted or whether the police had shot him. He was in stable condition Saturday at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.