Trump family pays tribute at Pittsburgh synagogue, protesters cry foul
Nov 02, 2018, 02:06
The suspect in a grisly shooting that left 11 people dead at a Pittsburgh synagogue was charged today in a 44-count indictment accusing him of federal hate crimes.
The indictment charges Bowers with killing 11 people, and for each of those victims, he faces separate counts of obstruction of free exercise of religion resulting in death, and using a firearm to commit murder during a crime of violence.
Funeral services are continuing to be held for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue, where 11 Jewish worshipers were shot and killed in what has been described as the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in USA history.
Those calls came from progressive Jewish groups, as well as the former president of the Tree of Life synagogue, which was attacked by suspected gunman Robert Bowers on Saturday.
In addition to those killed, six people were injured, including four police officers before Mr Bowers surrendered to law enforcement.
Bowers, 46, strode into U.S. District Court clad in a red jumpsuit and shackled by handcuffs - in contrast to his appearance Monday when he arrived tied to a wheelchair after sustaining injuries in a shootout with police Saturday.
Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty against Bowers, who also faces hate crime and firearm charges.
His arm remained in a bandage Thursday, and he said little other than to tell the judge he understood the charges against him. He remains jailed without bail.
As the president was driven through Pittsburgh, some bystanders made obscene gestures to his motorcade and thumbs-down gestures, reports AP news agency.
President Trump is visiting Pittsburgh in the aftermath of the October 27 shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Squirrel Hill; approximately 1,000 people reportedly protested his visit because of his rhetoric.
The approximately 40 high schoolers at the Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh attended Wednesday's funeral for Joyce Fienberg, whose niece used to teach at their school.
He is traveling to the historic hub of the city's Jewish community as the first three funerals are scheduled to be held for the victims, who range in age from 54 to 97.
Just minutes before the synagogue attack, the shooter apparently used social media to rage against HIAS, a Jewish organization that resettles refugees under contract with the USA government.
The Pittsburgh massacre has fuelled a debate over US President Donald Trump's rhetoric and his self-identification as a "nationalist", which critics say has led to a surge in right-wing extremism and may have helped provoke the synagogue bloodshed. "I hope they didn't suffer much, and I miss them terribly".
Many Jews have gathered in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh to make sure that Trump doesn't get the photo-op he wants so badly, he'd defy the wishes of the community in mourning.
A couple becomes emotional before leaving flowers at the Tree of Life synagogue two days after the shooting.
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