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Grief-stricken Pittsburgh readies itself for funerals, Trump visit after synagogue shooting

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rocky
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Grief-stricken Pittsburgh readies itself for funerals, Trump visit after synagogue shooting

Post by rocky on Tue 30 Oct 2018, 3:49 am


Grief-stricken Pittsburgh readies itself for funerals, Trump visit after synagogue shooting



Tim Craig, Mark Berman, Joel Achenbach














Slide 1 of 64: A mother and child place flowers at a memorial for victims of the mass shooting that killed 11 people and wounded 6 at the Tree Of Life Synagogue on October 29, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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1/64 SLIDES ©️ Jeff Swensen/Getty Images


A heavily armed gunman opened fire during a baby-naming ceremony at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27, killing 11 people and injuring six in the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in recent American history.
(Pictured) A mother and child place flowers at a memorial for victims of the mass shooting that killed 11 people and wounded 6 at the Tree Of Life Synagogue on Oct. 29, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

2/64 SLIDES ©️ Seth Wenig/AP Photo


People join hands for a short prayer during an event to encourage unity in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting at a synagogue in Newark, N.J., on Oct. 29.

3/64 SLIDES ©️ Alex Wong/Getty Images


People attend a Greater Washington Community Interfaith Service and Solidarity Gathering on Oct. 29, at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC.

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People attend a Greater Washington Community Interfaith Service and Solidarity Gathering on Oct. 29, at Adas Israel Congregation in Washington, DC.

5/64 SLIDES ©️ Seth Wenig/AP Photo


Surrounded by community and religious leaders Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, center, speaks during an event to encourage unity in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting at a synagogue in Newark, N.J., on Oct. 29.

6/64 SLIDES ©️ Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo


SUVs carrying Robert Bowers with a Pittsburgh Police escort leave the Federal Courthouse after Bowers's brief appearance in Federal Court, on Oct. 29.

7/64 SLIDES ©️ Matt Rourke/AP Photo


A woman touches a tree as she pauses near a memorial in front at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 29.

8/64 SLIDES ©️ Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo


A photo of Tree of Life Synagogue victim Dr. Jerry P. Rabinowitz is surrounded on Oct. 29.

9/64 SLIDES ©️ Stephanie Keith/Getty Images


People participate in a candle light vigil in memory of the victims of the mass shooting at the Tree Of Life Synagogue on the steps of Queens Borough Hall on Oct. 29, in New York City.

10/64 SLIDES ©️ BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images


People pay their respects at a memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, on Oct. 29. 

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U.S. Attorney Scott Brady and FBI Agent Bob Jones announce the arraignment of Robert Bowers, the defendant in the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, on Oct. 29 in Pittsburgh.

12/64 SLIDES ©️ Cathal McNaughton/REUTERS


Pupils from the Yeshiva Girls School pray outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 29.

13/64 SLIDES ©️ Jonathan Ernst/Reuters


Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rosenstein addresses a roundtable discussion on "improving the identification and reporting of hate crimes," through the Justice Department's Hate Crimes Enforcement and Prevention Initiative in Washington, on Oct. 29.

14/64 SLIDES ©️ BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images


Buddhists pay their respects at a memorial outside the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 29.

15/64 SLIDES ©️ Pennsylvania Department of Transportation/AP Photo


This undated Pennsylvania Department of Transportation photo shows Robert Bowers, the suspect in the deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh on Oct. 27.

16/64 SLIDES ©️ Jeff Swensen/Getty Images


People listen to interfaith speakers at the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall during a service to honor and mourn the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at the Tree Of Life Synagogue on Oct. 28, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

17/64 SLIDES ©️ Matt Rourke/AP Photo


People mourn in Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum during a community gathering held in the aftermath of Saturday's deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 28.

18/64 SLIDES ©️ Ariel Schalit/AP Photo


The names of victims of a deadly shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue is placed next to candles in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Oct. 28.

19/64 SLIDES ©️ Matt Rourke/AP Photo


People stand outside the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum due to over-capacity and listen via speakers to a community gathering inside, on Oct. 28 in Pittsburgh.

20/64 SLIDES ©️ Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo


A Pittsburgh Police officer walks past the Tree of Life Synagogue and a memorial of flowers and stars in Pittsburgh on Oct. 28.

21/64 SLIDES ©️ Matt Rourke/AP Photo


People stand outside the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum due to over-capacity at a community gathering inside, on Oct. 28, in Pittsburgh.

22/64 SLIDES ©️ Jeff Swensen/Getty Images


Men pray outside the Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall before a service to honor and mourn the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at the Tree Of Life Synagogue on Oct. 28, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

23/64 SLIDES ©️ Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo


This photo shows some of Stars of David with names of those killed at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in Saturday's shooting, at a memorial outside the synagogue, on Oct. 28.

24/64 SLIDES ©️ Matt Rourke/AP Photo


People attend a community gathering in Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall & Museum in the aftermath of Saturday's deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 28.

25/64 SLIDES ©️ Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo


This photo shows pumpkins carved on the porch of a house near the Tree of Life Synagogue, where a gunman killed 11 people during Saturday's services, in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 28.

26/64 SLIDES ©️ Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images


People gather under the US and the Israeli flags projected on the walls of Jerusalem old city on Oct. 28 organized by Jerusalem municipality to show solidarity with the Pittsburgh Jewish community.

27/64 SLIDES ©️ Jessica Resnick-Ault/Reuters


Therapy dogs from Pittsburgh and Youngstown arrive at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh to give comfort to volunteers, families, community members and employees, on Oct. 28. 

28/64 SLIDES ©️ Cathal McNaughton/Reuters


A woman places flowers on an impromptu memorial at the Tree of Life synagogue, on Oct. 28.

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Mourners grieve upon visiting an impromptu memorial at the Tree of Life synagogue, on Oct. 28.

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The flag of the United States flies at half staff in mourning, at the White House on Oct. 28 in Washington, DC.

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Pope Francis delivers his blessing from his studio window overlooking St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, on Oct. 28. Francis is grieving with Pittsburgh's Jewish community following the massacre at a synagogue, denouncing the "inhuman act of violence" and praying for an end to the "flames of hatred" that fueled it.

32/64 SLIDES ©️ Oded Balilty/Pool/Reuters


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz, left, and Cabinet Secretary Tzachi Braverman stand for a moment of silence to honor the victims of a synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Oct. 28.

33/64 SLIDES ©️ Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images


Members and supporters of the Jewish community come together for a candlelight vigil, in remembrance of those who died earlier in the shooting, in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 27.

34/64 SLIDES ©️ Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images


An FBI agent stands behind a police cordon and an ambulance outside the Tree of Life Synagogue after the shooting on Oct. 27.  

35/64 SLIDES ©️ Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images


Lorea Stallard and her husband Kyle Parker stand in front of flowers and candles placed below a police cordon outside the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27.

36/64 SLIDES ©️ Matt Rourke/AP Photo


People hold candles as they gather for a vigil in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, on Oct. 27.

37/64 SLIDES ©️ John Altdorfer/Reuters


Entrance to the Emergency Trauma Center at Allegheny General Hospital, where authorities say Saturday's Tree of Life synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers is hospitalized, is pictured in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 27.

38/64 SLIDES ©️ John Altdorfer/Reuters


People gathered to mourn the loss of life as they hold a vigil for the victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting on Oct. 27.

39/64 SLIDES ©️ John Altdorfer/Reuters


Police officers guarding the Tree of Life synagogue following shooting at the synagogue, speak with men in orange vest from a Jewish burial society in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 27.

40/64 SLIDES ©️ John Altdorfer/Reuters


People mourn the loss of life as they hold a vigil for the victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 27.

41/64 SLIDES ©️ John Altdorfer/Reuters


People mourn the loss of life as they hold a vigil for the victims of synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, on Oct. 27.

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Rapid reaction SWAT members leave the scene of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Oct. 27, in Pittsburgh.

43/64 SLIDES ©️ John G Mabanglo/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock


Boston Red Sox players bow their heads as a moment of silence is observed for the victims of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania earlier in the day on Oct. 27 in Los Angeles, California.

44/64 SLIDES ©️ Nir Elias/Reuters


People walk by as the municipality building in Tel Aviv is lit in the colors of the American flag in solidarity with the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack on Oct. 27 in Israel.

45/64 SLIDES ©️ Matt Rourke/AP Photo


People hold candles as they gather for a vigil in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Oct. 27.

46/64 SLIDES ©️ Matt Rourke/AP Photo


Deb Polk holds a sign as she gathers with others for a vigil in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Oct. 27.

47/64 SLIDES ©️ Dustin Franz/AFP/Getty Images


Flowers are left on a sidewalk after a shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue at Squirrel Hill, Pa. on Oct 27.

48/64 SLIDES ©️ Matt Rourke/AP Photo


Braddock, Pa., Mayor John Fetterman hugs a person as they gather for a vigil in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation on Oct. 27.

49/64 SLIDES ©️ John Altdorfer/Reuters


Police officers guard the Tree of Life synagogue following shooting at the synagogue on Oct. 27.

50/64 SLIDES ©️ Matt Rourke/AP Photo


People gather for a vigil in the aftermath of a deadly shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue, in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Oct. 27.

51/64 SLIDES ©️ Scott Olson/Getty Images


Supporters of President Donald Trump listen as the victims of today's shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh are remembered in prayer at the start of a rally at the Southern Illinois Airport where Trump is scheduled to speak on Oct. 27, in Murphysboro, Illinois. 

52/64 SLIDES ©️ Andrew Harnik/AP Photo


President Donald Trump speaks to reporters about a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue as he arrives at Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland on Oct. 27 to travel to Indianapolis to speak at the 91st Annual Future Farmers of America Convention and Expo.

53/64 SLIDES ©️ Jeff Swensen/Getty Images


Tammy Hepps, Kate Rothstein and her daughter, Simone Rothstein, 16, pray from a prayerbook a block away from the site of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Oct. 27.

54/64 SLIDES ©️ Jeff Swensen/Getty Images


Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich, flanked by Governor Tom Wolf, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, US Senator Robert Casey and Congressman Conor Lamb, describes the gravity of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Oct. 27.

55/64 SLIDES ©️ John Altdorfer/Reuters


An ambulance departs the Tree of Life synagogue following shooting at the synagogue on Oct. 27.

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Jeff Finkelstein, center, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, is interviewed several blocks from the Tree of Life Synagogue where a shooter opened fire on Oct. 27, wounding three police officers and causing "multiple casualties" according to Police.

57/64 SLIDES ©️ Jeff Swensen/Getty Images


Residents talk to the media near the site of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Oct. 27.

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Police rapid response team members respond to the site of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Oct. 27.

59/64 SLIDES ©️ Gene J. Puskar/AP Photo


People gather on a corner near the Tree of Life Synagogue where a shooter opened fire on Oct. 27, injuring multiple people.

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Police rapid response team members respond to the site of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Oct. 27.

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US President Donald Trump boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews on Oct. 27 in Maryland.  "It's a terrible, terrible thing what's going on with hate in our country frankly, and all over the world," Trump told reporters as he left for a series of campaign events in Indiana and Illinois.

62/64 SLIDES ©️ John Altdorfer/Reuters


A SWAT police officer and other first responders respond after a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27.

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First responders surround the Tree of Life Synagogue, where a shooter opened fire on Oct. 27.

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First responders arrive at the Tree of Life Synagogue where a shooter opened fire on Oct. 27.

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PITTSBURGH — Residents in grief-stricken Pittsburgh are preparing for the first of many funerals Tuesday, as well as a visit from President Trump, who plans to meet with members of the Jewish community here despite the mayor’s request that he postpone the trip until after families bury those killed in Saturday’s synagogue shooting.



The man accused in the attack — the deadliest on Jews in American history, with 11 people killed — made his first court appearance Monday, two days after the massacre. Robert Bowers, a 46-year-old truck driver, was using a wheelchair because of injuries he incurred in a gun battle with police at Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood. He allegedly told authorities upon his arrest that he was seeking to kill Jews.

Magistrate Judge Robert C. Mitchell read the charges against him, including obstruction of exercise of religious belief resulting in death. Bowers, dressed in a blue sweatshirt and gray sweatpants, appeared coherent and alert. He said little, answering “yes” when the judge asked whether he had requested a public defender because he could not afford an attorney. He was being held without bail.

It did not appear that Bowers had any friends or family members present at the courthouse. The federal public defender’s office did not respond to requests for comment about the case.

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One person who did attend was Jon Pushinsky, 64, a member of one of the congregations that meets at Tree of Life. “It was important to be here to show our congregation remains strong and will stand up, even in the face of evil,” Pushinsky said.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced Monday that Trump and first lady Melania Trump planned to visit Pittsburgh on Tuesday to “express the support of the American people and grieve with the Pittsburgh community.”

Mayor William Peduto (D) told reporters that the president should wait, citing security considerations and sensitivity for those who are suffering.

©️ reuters People mourn the loss of life as they hold a vigil for the victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 27, 2018. REUTERS/John Altdorfer “If the president is looking to come to Pittsburgh, I would ask that he not do so while we are burying the dead,” Peduto said, noting that the city does not have enough public safety officials to provide protection at the funerals while focusing on a presidential visit.

Chuck Diamond, a former Rabbi at Tree of Life, said during an appearance on MSNBC that Trump should wait a week to visit Pittsburgh.

The first funeral — of two brothers, Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and David Rosenthal, 54, who had been going to Tree of Life synagogue since they were young boys — is expected to take place Tuesday. Peduto asked the White House to consider “the will of the families” before deciding to visit and to contact them to see “if they want the president to be here.”

Leaders of the Pittsburgh affiliate of a progressive Jewish organization, Bend the Arc, published an open letter saying that Trump would not be welcome unless he denounced white nationalism and stopped “targeting” minorities in his rhetoric and policies. The letter has been signed by tens of thousands of people nationwide.

“For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement,” the letter says. “You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence.”

The White House noted that Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who survived the attack at the synagogue, said he would be honored to meet with any U.S. president. Myers told The Washington Post on Monday that if Trump comes to Pittsburgh, “I welcome him as an American. He is the president.”

“Hate is not political. It is not blue or red, it’s not male or female, it doesn’t know any of those divisions,” Myers said. “The hate rhetoric in our country is a real problem. I’ve seen examples in the last 24 hours. I chose to take the polite and respectful path. . . . Hate is all around us, and people are oblivious to it. The hateful letters and e-mails about the president are just a renewed reminder of how divisive and painful this is.”

White House officials said earlier Monday that they were pushing the president to cancel a potential speech Tuesday on immigration and visit Pittsburgh instead. The president, who has four “Make America Great Again” rallies scheduled this week, is clamoring to get back on the campaign trail, they said.

Critics of Trump have said that his incendiary rhetoric has contributed to a rise in extremism and could be perceived by radicals as a green light for violence. Last week, a South Florida man who has been a fervent Trump supporter, Cesar Sayoc, was charged with mailing more than a dozen pipe bombs to people and organizations that Trump has criticized.

But Trump on Monday blamed the news media — which he again described in a tweet as “the true Enemy of the People” — for the divisions in U.S. society. Sanders echoed that during a testy White House news briefing.

“The president is not responsible for these acts,” Sanders said, referring to both the Pittsburgh massacre and the pipe bombs.

“The very first action that the president did was condemn these heinous acts. The very first thing that the media did was condemn the president,” she said. She scolded the White House correspondents: “You guys have a huge responsibility to play in the divisive nature of this country.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) went on Twitter to express dismay at Trump’s latest attack on the media: “This is, for all practical purposes, a call for more violence against the press. My god....what is happening???”

In Pittsburgh, the community has been trying to heal itself. The city has been the scene of vigils every day.

“We find strength in one another,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) said in an interview. “This gunman went in to try and kill as many Jews as possible. . . . We will come through this. And hopefully this feeling of community that we all share today can be channeled into each of us doing our part of rooting out hate.”

Congregants who were inside the synagogue Saturday were those who often arrived early, many of them elderly people who regularly attend weekly services. The services were about to begin when congregants in a second-floor sanctuary heard loud noises from below that they mistook for falling furniture or perhaps an overturned coat rack.

E. Joseph Charny, 90, said in an interview that as people settled into the room, a man appeared in the doorway and started firing. Charny said that he “looked up and there were all these dead bodies.”

Myers helped clear the front pews, steering congregants toward exits or hiding places; Charny ended up in a closet on the third floor, where he waited out the shooting.

Police arrived and confronted Bowers as he tried to exit the building, and two officers were injured. Authorities said Bowers retreated into the building and upstairs, where he engaged in a gun battle with SWAT officers and ultimately was shot and arrested.

Investigators in the city and beyond have pored over Bowers’s life, examining his actions and online postings leading up to the attack. People who encountered him in person described him as an unremarkable loner who gave no indications of the rage and bigotry he routinely expressed online. He was in the Class of 1990 at Baldwin High School, but he left school in 1989, according to the Baldwin-Whitehall School District. Two classmates told The Washington Post that they didn’t remember him.

“He must have been a real loner or something,” said classmate John Korpiel of Wexford, Pa.

Scott Brady, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, has begun the process of seeking the death penalty in the case, a decision that rests with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Speaking after the hearing, Brady told reporters, “Rest assured, we have a team of prosecutors working hard to ensure that justice is done.”

Investigators searched Bowers’s small apartment just outside Pittsburgh, hoping to learn clues about the origins of his alleged anti-Semitism, and they were scouring his online presence, which included anti-Jewish statements.

Rep. Mike Doyle, a Democrat representing the Pittsburgh area, said FBI Special Agent in Charge Bob Jones told elected leaders Saturday evening that Bowers possessed 21 firearms. The tally included the semiautomatic assault-style rifle and three handguns found in the synagogue, as well as a shotgun that Doyle said authorities recovered from Bowers’s vehicle. Other weapons were found in his apartment.

Doyle said he was told that Trump would visit a 911 call center Tuesday morning in Pittsburgh. He said it should be up to the synagogue’s leaders to decide if it was appropriate for the president to be involved in memorials for the victims.

“It should be up to the rabbis and the families, whether or not they want to take a visit from the president,” Doyle said. “I don’t think it’s my place to say if it’s appropriate. Tomorrow is going to be a very tough day for Pittsburgh, saying goodbye to the 11 people who were butchered by this individual.”



http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/grief-stricken-pittsburgh-readies-itself-for-funerals-trump-visit-after-synagogue-shooting/ar-BBP3sAm?li=BBnb7Kz&ocid=U453DHP

    Current date/time is Thu 13 Dec 2018, 7:24 pm