Published: Mon, October 29, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Jewish leaders, 2006 Seattle shooting survivor react to Pittsburgh shooting

Jewish leaders, 2006 Seattle shooting survivor react to Pittsburgh shooting

The nation's latest mass shooting drew condemnation and expressions of sympathy from politicians and religious leaders of all stripes. "Anybody that does a thing like this to innocent people that are in temple or in church - we've had so many incidents with churches - they should be suffering the ultimate price".

Some of the country's premiers also weighed in, with Ontario's Doug Ford saying that we must work together to "defeat anti-Semitism and bigotry in all its forms".

"A policeman with a gun is the best way to stop an evil person with a gun", he said. We will not try to figure out ways in order to lessen the degree of crimes such as this. "We should be working to eliminate irrational behaviour and the empowerment of people who would seek to cause this type of carnage from continuing".

Mayor Bill Peduto called it the "darkest day of Pittsburgh's history". Jones added that he did not know why Bowers picked the particular synagogue for his attack.

Officials released the names of all 11 victims during a news conference Sunday, all of them middle-aged or elderly.

The 11 people killed in the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh included a married couple, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, and two brothers, Cecil and David Rosenthal.

The dead also included Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Jerry Rabinowitz, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax and Irving Younger.

Two other worshipers were wounded in the initial shooting spree, which might have lasted about 15 minutes.

"This is an bad, terrible period for our Jewish community and especially for the families that have been affected", said Jeffrey Finkelstein, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh.

"Had Bowers made it out of the facility, additional violence would have occurred", Jones told reporters.

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Palestinians have been boycotting the Trump administration since it chose to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem earlier this year. "We are not mediators in Israel-Palestine, but we offer facilitation and ideas to help two parties to come together", he added.

Robert Bowers, the suspect, is being treated in hospital for gunshot wounds.

Mr Bowers faces 29 criminal charges, including obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs, a hate crime, and using a firearm to commit murder.

As news of the shooting spread, police locked down nearby synagogues in the heavily Jewish neighbourhood.

Ninety-year-old E. Joseph Charny was worshipping in a room with a half-dozen other congregants when he saw a man appear in the doorway and heard shots ring out, he told The Washington Post. "We don't know what motivated the shooter, but when something like this strikes, the randomness of it terrifies".

Chicago police did not receive any threats to the city or the vigil, but officers and K9s were deployed to the vigil to ensure a visible presence, officials said.

US Representative Adam Schiff, a Democrat who is Jewish, said on Sunday the country needs to combat a climate of hatred and division that he said Trump helped foster. "He gets up in the morning with new and inventive ways to divide us", Schiff said on CNN's State of the Union.

US President Donald Trump hit out Saturday at what he called "hate" in America after the attack. "After a standoff with police, Bowers eventually surrendered, and remains in federal custody today", Brady said. It took only 20 minutes for him to pull off what became the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in US history.

"We've never had an attack of such depravity where so many people were killed", said Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League.

Israel's cabinet stood for a moment's silence on Sunday to honor the victims of the 11 slain worshippers.

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