PITTSBURGH (RNN) – Four people are dead multiple injured after a gunman opened fire in a synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood in Pittsburgh Saturday.
At least 12 people were shot, but it’s not clear if that includes those who lost their lives.
Four police officers were injured, and Pittsburgh police say there are multiple casualties in the synagogue.
A bearded, heavy-set white man is in custody, police said.
The suspect was identified as Robert Bowers, 46, of Pittsburgh, according to local media.
He was taken to the hospital, according to authorities.
Wendell Hissrich, director of Pittsburgh Public Safety, said there are a total of six injured, four of those police officers.
Hissrich said there is no evidence of a further threat to the community. He said the incident is now a federal case being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“It’s a very horrific crime scene,” he said almost in tears.
The suspect reportedly made anti-Semitic remarks as he was taken into custody.
The gunman opened fire in the Tree of Life Congregation in the historic Jewish neighborhood of Squirrel Hill.
Three congregations practice in the Tree of Life building – Tree of Life, New Light and Dor Hadash. All three congregations were holding services Saturday morning.
“If they had some kind of protection inside the temple, maybe it would have been different,” said President Donald Trump, who also praised the response of law enforcement at the scene.
“When people do this, they should get the death penalty. They shouldn’t have to wait years and years. Of course the lawyers will get involved … anyone who does this to innocent people who are in temple or church, they should really suffer the ultimate price. I’ve felt that way for a long time. Some people disagree with me, but I can’t imagine why,” he said.
Trump wouldn’t comment on changing gun laws.
Michael Eisenberg, the immediate past president of the synagogue, told local media that they never had any threats, but they were concerned about security, and called in Homeland Security to examine their building.
“We were working with the other synagogues if something horrific like this happened,” he told KDKA.
“But our security is no one has ever tried. Like most religious communities, we have an open door,” Eisenberg said.
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