TV news outlets scrambled Saturday morning to cover another horrific mass shooting after at least eight people were slain at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. The suspect surrendered to authorities shortly after 11 a.m. ET, according to local media reports.
The shooting unfolded at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood while Shabbat services were under way as well as a bris ceremony, according to reports by CBS O&O KDKA-TV Pittsburgh. KDKA reported that police were able to rescue a number of people in the basement of the building but four were killed there.
The gunman reportedly barricaded himself on the third floor of the building and exchanged fire with police before surrendering, according to KDKA.
Two police officers were among the others wounded during the siege, according to KDKA. Police said the death toll may yet rise.
The gunman reportedly shouted anti-Semitic statements including “all Jews must die” after bursting into the synagogue shortly after 10 a.m., according to KDKA. Squirrel Hill is described as a largely Jewish neighborhood with numerous synagogues and schools in the area. Tree of Life Synagogue was described as a conservative congregation.
Saturday’s massacre joins the growing list of recent shooting rampages at houses of worship. In November 2017, 26 people were killed in a shooting at a church in rural Sutherland Springs, Texas. In 2015, nine African-Americans were slain while attending a Bible study class in a racially motivated attack on a church in Charleston, S.C.
“This should not be happening,” Jeffrey Finkelstein, president-CO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh told KDKA. “This should not be happening in a synagogue. This should not be happening in our neighborhood in Squirrel Hill.”
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