Muslim groups raise money for victims after Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

Hannah Rogers
October 29, 2018

Karl Williams, chief medical examiner in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County, announced the names of the dead at a news conference Sunday morning.

Brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal usually attended services.

While some acknowledged the political undertones of the gathering, many, including 45-year-old Ira Piltz, said they were heartened to see such a large crowd come out to show their support for the Jewish community.

A social media post by Mr Bowers on Saturday morning said a Jewish refugee organisation, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, "likes to bring invaders in that kill our people".

Mr Bowers was taken to a hospital where he was listed in fair condition with multiple gunshot wounds.

As The Hill reported earlier on Sunday, the two non-profits are partnering with the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh to distribute the funds raised to the victims and the families of victims of the hate-driven shooting. As a former counselor at a Jewish summer camp, she shared one of her camper's grandmother was one of the 11 victims. Officials previously said three women and eight men were killed. State authorities have also leveled charges.

Steve Hunegs, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Minnesota and the Dakotas, told MPR News on Saturday that while the attack happened hundreds of miles from Minnesota, it hits close to home in the state's Jewish community.

Pope Francis is grieving with Pittsburgh's Jewish community following the massacre at a synagogue, denouncing the "inhuman act of violence" and praying for an end to the "flames of hatred" that fueled it.

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The suspect - identified as a 46-year-old Robert Bowers - reportedly yelled "All Jews must die" as he sprayed bullets into the Tree of Life synagogue during Sabbath services on Saturday before exchanging fire with police, in an attack that also wounded six people. "If it's more money, let us know", Mohamed said.

He had an assault rifle and three handguns at the time of the attack, which lasted around 20 minutes, Jones said.

A Pittsburgh police officer says in the warrant that Bowers was being treated for his injuries when he said Jews were "committing genocide to his people".

The Department of Justice charged the suspect with 11 counts of criminal homicide, and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation.

Gibbons said the attack reinforces a need to address gun violence.

"I don't think that the answer to this problem is solved by having our synagogues, mosques and churches filled with armed guards or our schools filled with armed guards", Peduto said during an appearance on NBC News' "Meet The Press".

Pittsburgh has been rocked after Saturday's shooting at a synagogue killed 11 people, including a 97-year-old, two bothers and a couple in their 80s. Six other people, including four police officers, were injured during the October 27 incident.

Robert Bowers, who has a history of posting anti-Semitic material online, was charged under federal hate crime statutes, and could face the death penalty if convicted.

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