Details are still coming out about the path of the gunman who killed 11 at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue Saturday morning.
Court documents released Sunday indicate calls started coming in to police from the Squirrel Hill synagogue shortly before 10 a.m. That’s when 46-year-old Robert G. Bowers began indiscriminately shooting worshipers. The documents show officers found Bowers on the third floor, where he shot two of them multiple times. Bowers was carrying an AR-15 rifle and three handguns.
While in custody, police say Bowers told them “that he wanted all Jews to die and also that they (Jews) were committing genocide to his people.”
Eleven people were killed and six were wounded, including four officers.
A social media account under Bower’s name has posted anti-Semitic remarks for weeks. Several entries criticized the Jewish refugee resettlement agency, HIAS, which helps the U.S. government place people from all faiths in the country. Melanie Nezer, spokesperson for HIAS said the group’s mission is not controversial, but “completely American.”
“I don’t think we have another choice,” she said. “We stand for a world where people can find safety and freedom to pray the way they want to pray, believe what they want to believe. We think that the United States should be that place.”
Several area elected officials have called for tighter gun laws following the shooting, including Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.
“Dangerous weapons are putting our citizens in harm’s way,” Wolf said.
President Donald Trump has said armed guards at the synagogue might have been a good solution.
An interfaith ceremony will be held at 5 p.m. at Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum.