THE first victim among the 11 shot dead in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre has been identified as a grandfather.
Daniel Stein is presumed to be dead after family members told WPXI-TV that they have been unable to reach him since the shooting.
Stein was attending the Sabbath prayer service alone at the Tree of Life synagogue when Robert Bowers opened fire while shouting “all Jews must die” shortly before 10am local time yesterday.
He has been described as a family man and a new grandfather, according to reports by KDKA-TV.
Bowers has been charged with murdering 11 people as it comes that another six were wounded.
A 61-year-old woman, a 55-year-old man and a 27-year-old male police officer are in stable condition, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Robert Bowers is alleged to have opened fire on worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh[/caption]
A 70-year-old man, who has been identified as Daniel Leger, and a 40-year-old male SWAT team officer are said to be in critical condition.
Another officer was treated for minor injuries and has been released from hospital.
All of those killed were adults, police have confirmed.
The local blood bank has put out calls for O-positive and O-negative type blood and platelet donors to come forward to help those who were shot.
The suspect in a shooting which saw at least 11 people slaughtered at a synagogue in Pittsburgh has been charged over the murders.
The 46-year-old is said to have ranted online about the “infestation of Jews”, according to reports.
He allegedly opened fire on worshippers at the Tree of Life Synagogue while shouting “all Jews must die” shortly before 10am local time.
Federal prosecutors have charged the suspected gunman in a massacre that killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue with 29 charges, including using a firearm to commit murder.
Six people were injured during the massacre which has prompted US President Donald Trump to claim that the house of worship should have had armed guards.
A law enforcement official named the alleged shooter on condition of anonymity to the Associated Press while cops previously described the gunman as being white with a beard.
Bowers, who is currently in a stable condition in hospital, was injured in a shootout with police.
The synagogue was busy this morning with Sabbath services and a baby naming ceremony taking place.
The shooter has been arrested after opening fire at Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue[/caption]
Witnesses say the gunman burst into the building carrying three handguns and an AR-15 rifle – a firearm which has become synonymous with US shootings.
According to reports, Bowers’s social media account was filled with white supremacist symbolism and disturbing anti-Semitic rhetoric including rants against the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.
He said the group were bringing “invaders in that kill our people” and posted the chilling message “I’m going in” an hour before unleashing terror on the Tree of Life.
He wrote: “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
Bowers also posted anti-Trump statements online claiming there was no ‘MAGA’ when there was a Jewish “infestation” in the country – referring to the slogan Make American Great Again.
He called the US President “a puppet for Jewish interests” while also posting a picture of three handguns along with the caption “my Glock family” in reference to the name of the firearms manufacturer.
After entering the synagogue at 9.45am this morning, the shooter opened fire on the main floor of the building before moving downstairs.
He then reportedly fired shots at a congregation in the basement.
Following the massacre, the 46-year-old was said to have been confronted by two police officers as he left the building.
Both of those cops were injured by shots fired by the killer who fled to a nearby office building where he exchanged fire with a SWAT team.
After he injured another two armed officers, the shooter sustained at least one gunshot wound and surrendered, according to reports.
The terrifying incident, from when the gunman entered the synagogue to when he was apprehended, lasted only 20 minutes.
The anti-Semite posted a picture of his Glock handguns and ammunition online[/caption]
Cops are said to have searched Bowers’ home in Baldwin, Pennsylvania – which is around 30 minutes drive to the scene of the shooting.
During an interview after the shooting President Trump said the attack had “little to do” with gun laws and the attacker should pay a high price.
He said: “This was a case where if they had an armed guard inside they might have been able to stop him immediately.”
Trump added that if there has been armed security then “maybe there might have been nobody killed except for him.”
Having an armed guard at every synagogue in the country was an option, he said.
He continued: “They had a maniac walk in and they didn’t have any protection.
“It’s even tougher when you’re the president of the United States and you have to see this kind of thing happen.”
Trump said lawmakers “should very much bring the death penalty into vogue” and people who kill in places such as synagogues and churches “really should suffer the ultimate price.”
Trump, pictured with a leading rabbi at an event in Indianapolis today, said the synagogue should have had armed guards[/caption]
CBS reported Bower’s account – an alternative to Twitter which does not censor any content – had been taken down after the shooting.
President of the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh said over half of the city’s Jewish community lived in and around the neighbourhood of Squirrel Hill.
Micheal Eisenberg – the former president of the Tree of Life – there were three services at the synagogue when the gunman entered at 9.45am.
He admitted that he had been worried about the security of the building before, saying: “It was a major concern for me, for us, we were working with home land security to evaluate escape routes.
People gather for a vigil in the aftermath of the deadly shooting in Pittsburgh[/caption]
The massacre has shocked the town which is known for its large Jewish community[/caption]
Hundreds of people gathered in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh for a memorial service for the victims[/caption]
We were working with other synagogues about what to do if something like this happened.”
Eisenberg had been on his way to the service when he heard about the shooting.
He added: “I have always had a watchful eye about what’s going on in the current climate.”
Two SWAT teams were involved in the stand off, according to local media.
New York City Mayor Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted: “Anti-semitism is a dangerous cancer on our society. We cannot be silent. Stand up. Speak up.
“Challenge it in every form. To our Jewish neighbors and communities: Your city stands with you. We will protect you. And together we will defeat this hatred.”
Israel has expressed its shock and concern and offering assistance to the local community following the deadly shooting.
Minister Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Cabinet minister for diaspora affairs, said he was “following the news with concern.”
He had instructed Israel’s Ministry of Diaspora Affairs to prepare to assist the community in every possible way.
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One person wrote on Twitter: “There was just a man who opened fire in the synagogue down the street from my job. We’ve seen 15+ police cars drive by.”
Officers who exchanged gunfire with the suspect had to use their vehicles as a shield to protect themselves from the bullets.
The tree-lined residential neighbourhood of Squirrel Hill, about 10 minutes from downtown Pittsburgh, is the hub of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community.
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