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Reckoning Grief, Pride And Religiosity As The First Funerals From Saturday's Mass Shooting Commence

Katie Blackley
90.5 WESA
Candles, mementos, flowers and drawings litter the sidewalk and lawn outside Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Squirrel Hill where a shooter killed 11 people and injured six others on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018.


The alleged gunman behind Saturday's deadly mass shooting at Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in Squirrel Hill faced formal arraignment Monday on 29 federal counts, including hate crimes, which could carry a death penalty. Robert Bowers, 46 of Baldwin, also faces state charges: 11 counts of criminal homicide, six counts of aggravated assault and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation.

Eleven people died and six others were injured in the attack. Their funerals began Tuesday.

90.5 WESA legal analyst David Harris and reporter An-Li Herring discuss how the case against Bowers will proceed.

Later in the program, David Shribman, Squirrel Hill resident and executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,reads an editorial he wrote Sunday for the New York Times, “Anti-Semitism Comes to a City of Tolerance.” He penned a companion piece for his own paper that published the previous day.

WESA’s Virginia Alvino Young spoke to Rabbi Seth Adelson, who leads congregation at Beth Shalom in Squirrel Hill. Rabbi Adelson says that, in addition to handling the everyday needs of his congregants, he's navigating how to comfort them during his own time of grief.

And with the midterm elections just one week away, WESA's Katie Blackley takes a look at House District 39, which has been represented by Republican Rick Saccone since 2011. WESA’s Chris Potter runs down other pivotal races, Trump's visit to Pittsburgh and how candidates are responding to the mass shooting.

Several organizations are providing grief counseling and other services to help those affected by this tragedy. Here's a list of places to seek help and ways to give.

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here.

Megan Harris is a writer, editor, photographer and curator for Pittsburgh's NPR News station. She leads editorial coverage for The Confluence, 90.5 WESA's live, one-hour, daily morning news show.
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