Tyler Cullen – Staff Writer
A gunman who opened fire in the Tree of Life Synagogue killed eleven people and injured six others. This horrible massacre was carried out on the morning of October 27, on what would have been a normal Saturday morning.
The man in charge of the shooting, now identified as Robert D. Bowers, was heavily armed with an AR-15 assault rifle and several handguns. It was noted that Bowers barged into the synagogue, shouting a multitude of anti-semitic slurs before opening fire on the crowd. Of the eleven killed, all were members of the synagogue, and four of the six injured were police officers.
The shooting that took place is marked as one of the worst acts of violence towards the Jewish community in the United States. As Bowers tried to flee the scene of the crime, he was halted by police officers using tactical gear and armed with rifles. The officers entered the scene of the crime, meeting the shooter at the door of the synagogue. Based on what the officers described, Bowers attempted to open fire on them and then proceeded to retreat.
Finally, the police closed in on the shooter and surrounded him in the synagogue. It was mentioned that the suspect was fortifying himself in a room somewhere on the third floor of the synagogue before eventually surrendering. After the smoke cleared, in analyzing the apprehended suspect it was clear that he had been shot, but officers were not sure if his wounds were self-inflicted or if he was shot by a cop.
After these events unraveled, Bowers was taken to a hospital in Allegheny Pennsylvania and was then taken to be charged for his criminal actions. In all, Bowers was charged with twenty-nine criminal counts, which included but were not limited to committing a hate crime and using a firearm to commit murder. The murderer was forty-six years of age, and prior to this atrocity had not committed any other crimes.
More importantly, the greater Pittsburgh community mourned the victims of this massacre. The casualties were as listed: David Rosenthal, 54, Cecil Rosenthal, 59, Bernice Simon, 84, Sylvan Simon, 86, Daniel Stein, 71, Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, Richard Gottfried, 65, Joyce Fienberg, 75, Rose Mallinger, 97, Melvin Wax, 88 and Irving Younger, 69.
The community has begun the healing process, giving its thoughts and prayers, with hopes of finding normalcy again. Several religious gatherings were held to remember all of those who perished in the mass shooting. There were also the words of the Mourners’ Kaddish, a Jewish prayer for the dead on the front page of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
While it is evident the vast amounts of support given to the victims of the shooting, as a nation we must stay resilient in the wake of such egregious loss and continue to support the families and community affected by this tragedy.