Federal prosecutors have filed hate crime charges against a Pennsylvania man who authorities say stormed a Pittsburgh synagogue and opened fire, killing 11 people.
Robert Bowers, 46, of suburban Baldwin, surrendered to authorities after Saturday morning’s shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue.
It’s believed he made anti-Semitic statements during the shooting and targeted Jews in posts on social media that are a focus of the investigation, according to a federal law enforcement official.
Bowers faces 29 charges in all in a rampage that left the Squirrel Hill neighborhood and the rest of the nation stunned.
Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich told reporters: “These incidents usually occur in other cities.”
Bowers is charged with 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder and multiple counts of two hate crimes: obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death and obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer.
“The crimes of violence are based upon the federal civil rights laws prohibiting hate crimes,” US Attorney Scott W. Brady and Bob Jones, FBI special agent in charge of Pittsburgh office, said in a statement.
Six people were injured as a result of the shooting, said Hissrich, four of whom were police officers who responded to the scene. No children were among the dead, he said.