During a mass shooting Saturday morning, an unnamed suspect reportedly burst into a synagogue in Pittsburgh while yelling antisemitic statements and opened fire, killing at least eight and injuring up to a dozen more, including several local police officers.
Pittsburgh police Cmdr. Jason Lando confirmed in a brief statement to the media around 11:30 am that there were “multiple casualties” but that the situation was under control.
“The suspect in the shooting is in custody. We have multiple casualties inside the synagogue. We have three officers who have been shot. And at this time we have no more information because we’re still clearing the building and trying to figure out if the situation is safe and if there are anymore threats inside the building,” he said.
According to reports circulating on social media, the still-unidentified shooter yelled “all these Jews need to die” when he stepped into the Tree of Life synagogue Saturday morning.
Reports also revealed that the conservative Jewish synagogue had reportedly been performing a Shabbat service at the time the shooter arrived at the facility.
Pittsburgh PD radio reports suspect shooter in attack at Tree of Life Synagogue stated, “All these Jews need to die.” Police radio reports he’s in custody, self-ID’d as age 46, DOB 9/4/1972 surrendered with AR-15 & Glock. Withholding name for confirmation. Multiple fatalities.
— Brenda Flanagan (@FlanaganNJTV) October 27, 2018
Former Pres of Pittsburgh Synagogue under attack says:
— 3 different congregations hold service in 3 different areas of this building
— Shabbat service began 945am
— 20-30 people typically in building
— Bris ceremony was slated to take place this am for an infant#Breaking
— ReenaCBS (@reenaninan) October 27, 2018
The Tree of Life Synagogue is the largest synagogue in the Pittsburgh area…it is a conservative denomination. The shooting occurred during the 9:45 Shabbat service, in the basement of the synagogue. The gunman reportedly entered the synagogue shouting “All Jews must die!”
— David, Ph.D. (@americanshomer) October 27, 2018
Some have noted that the shooting occurred only days after Democrat Party ally Rev. Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam described Jews as “termites” in a Twitter post that still remains posted despite widespread condemnation from the Jewish community and their conservative allies.
I’m not an anti-Semite. I’m anti-Termite. pic.twitter.com/L5dPQcnVg4
— MINISTER FARRAKHAN (@LouisFarrakhan) October 16, 2018
As of around noon, the gunman had still not been identified and was described only as a white man with a beard who’d surrendered to authorities around 11:00 am.
Both President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have responded to the shooting by announcing on social media that they’re monitoring the ongoing coverage:
Watching the events unfolding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Law enforcement on the scene. People in Squirrel Hill area should remain sheltered. Looks like multiple fatalities. Beware of active shooter. God Bless All!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2018
Monitoring reports of shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. Praying for the fallen, the injured, all the families impacted, and our courageous first responders. God bless them all.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) October 27, 2018