Nation & World

Shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue kills several; police officers also injured

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A gunman attacked a Pittsburgh synagogue during services Saturday morning, killing multiple people and wounding three police officers, among others.

The suspect, who was in custody by noon, opened fire inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood, according to The Associated Press.

It’s unclear how many inside were hurt, but police dispatchers mentioned multiple fatalities during the incident, as police warned residents in the neighborhood to stay indoors and shelter in place.

KDKA reported that officers confronted the suspect outside the synagogue, and three officers were wounded in a firefight. One of the officers was struck in the hand, according to dispatchers, but at least one reportedly had serious injuries.

During a standoff, the suspect spoke multiple times about killing Jews, police dispatchers said on the radio.

He surrendered to police around 11 a.m. Dispatchers said he had a pistol on his ankle and another in his waistband and had been injured. KDKA reported that he came out crawling.

The Tree of Life synagogue is located in a leafy residential enclave near Carnegie Mellon University that has a significant Jewish population. Tree of Life’s congregants practice Conservative Judaism, a Jewish denomination that does not indicate political affiliation.

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It is unclear how many were in the synagogue at the time of the shooting. According to an online calendar, there would have been a Shabbat service scheduled for 9:45 a.m. Saturday.

The synagogue’s main sanctuary, a cavernous space with soaring stained-glass windows that depict the story of Creation, can hold up to 1,250 guests, according to the Tree of Life’s website.

President Donald Trump tweeted that he is watching the events unfolding in Pennsylvania.

“This is an absolute tragedy,” Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf wrote on Twitter. “These senseless acts of violence are not who we are as Americans.”

The New York Police Department said that they were deploying teams to houses of worship after the Pittsburgh shooting as a precautionary measure.

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