Synagogue Shooter Robert Bowers Faces Court
Robert Bowers the man accused of killing 11 worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue is expected to appear in a federal court Monday.
Robert Bowers faces 29 federal charges, and the D.A. is said to be seeking the death penalty. Included in the charges are 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder and multiple counts of two hate crimes: obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death and obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer.
Bower,46, opened fire at Tree of Life synagogue during Shabbat services Saturday morning.
All 11 victims died from their wounds.
Bowers is scheduled to make his first court appearance at the Joseph F. Weis, Jr. US Courthouse in Pittsburgh at 1:30 p.m. ET Monday
Prior to the shooting, Bowers targeted Jews in frequent posts on Gab, a social media platform that bills itself as “the free speech social network.” Bowers used anti-Semitic slurs, complained that President Donald Trump was surrounded by too many Jewish people and blamed Jews for helping migrant caravans in Central America.
“I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered,” he wrote. “Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
He also posted pictures of his handgun collection. Bowers has 21 guns registered to his name, said Rep. Mike Doyle, whose district includes Squirrel Hill.
Gab denied supporting violence and said its mission is “to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people.” Gab said it has backed up the suspect’s profile data, suspended the account and contacted the FBI.
The victims have been identified:
Authorities on Sunday released the names of the 11 victims. Joyce Fienberg, 75, Rose Mallinger, 97, Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, Cecil Rosenthal, 59, David Rosenthal, 54, Daniel Stein, 71, Melvin Wax, 88, and Irving Younger, 69, were from Pittsburgh. Richard Gottfried, 65, was from Ross Township and Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86, were from Wilkinsburg, Allegheny County Chief Medical Examiner Karl Williams said.
Six more people were injured: two police officers, two SWAT officers and two others, Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said. Bowers shot three of them, authorities said.
Five people were hospitalized, including the four officers. Two were in critical condition: a 55-year-old man with multiple injuries to his extremities, and a 70-year-old man with gunshot wounds to the torso.
Bowers used a Colt AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 handguns during the attack. Bowers legally purchased the three Glock .357s, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told CNN. It’s not clear whether the AR-15 was purchased legally.
In addition to those four guns, investigators recovered a shotgun in the alleged shooter’s car that was not used in the shooting.