11 Dead In "Devastating" Pittsburgh Shooting

11  Dead In "Devastating" Pittsburgh Shooting

11 Dead In "Devastating" Pittsburgh Shooting 

New Delhi: In the US city of Pittsburgh on Saturday, a gunman opened fire at a synagogue, reportedly killing at least four people and injuring others before being taken into custody.

The motive behind the attack was not immediately confirmed by the officials. The attack took place at a  synagogue, where dozens of people were understood to be celebrating Shabbat services on the Jewish sabbath, and which comes with the United States witnessing a sharp spike in anti-Semitic incidents.

US television networks reported that at least four people had died, while the local CBS affiliate reported that eight people were dead. 

"Multiple casualties" were confiremed by the police spokesman, who adressed reporters at the scene and said three officers where shot before the shooter was taken into custody.

The condition of the officers was not immediately clear.

The official said that the, police were still clearing the building.


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

The CNN was informed by a woman present at the scene that her daughter was with others who ran down the stairs and barricaded themselves in the basement of the synagogue after hearing shots.

"They're safe, but they kept hearing them firing and everything else," she told the television network. 

CNN broadcast footage of police cars, ambulances and a police SWAT team outside the place of worship.

The Tree of Life Synagogue is about five miles (eight kilometers) east of downtown Pittsburgh in the residential Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

Pittsburgh's Public Safety department, which includes the police, declared earlier that an active shooter was in the area near the synagogue, urging residents to stay away.


Events in Pittsburgh are far more devastating than originally thought. Spoke with Mayor and Governor to inform them that the Federal Government has been, and will be, with them all the way. I will speak to the media shortly and make further statement at Future Farmers of America.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2018

"There are multiple casualties," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette quoted Police Commander Jason Lando as saying.

It is the latest shooting incident in the United States, where gunmen regularly cause mass casualties and firearms are linked to more than 30,000 deaths annually.

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Michael Eisenberg, past president of the Tree of Life synagogue, told CNN that the door would typically have been open on Saturdays with religious services going on. He said police are normally deployed only on High Holy Days -- the holiest annual Jewish religious holidays.

He said security was a "major concern" during his stint as president, and active shooting situations and active shooter trainings were conducted, "if something horrific like this happened.

The motive of the shooting was not immediately clear, but anti-Semitism and hate crimes have been on a rise in the United States in recent years.

On Friday, Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, published an op-ed in the Washington Post newspaper decrying a rise of anti-Semitism on college campuses.

According to the ADL, such episodes nearly doubled last year, reflecting a nationwide spike in anti-Semitism, when incidents increased 57 percent, to 1,986, from 1,267.

Squirrel Hill has historically been the center of Jewish life in the greater Pittsburgh and is home to 26 percent of all Pittsburgh-area Jewish households, according to a study from Brandeis University.

Around 80 percent of the residents of the neighborhood's said that they had some concern or were very concerned about rising anti-Semitism, found the 2017 study.

More than 150 years ago, the Tree of Life congregation was found and in 2010 merged with the five-year-old Or L'Simcha congregation.

(Inputs from news agencies)

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