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Hate Crime Charges Filed in Synagogue Massacre

Suspected shooter faces 29 charges in all
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 28, 2018 12:01 AM CDT
Isabel Kinnane Smith of Allderdice is comforted by Lesley Britton, a math teacher at the school, at a vigil blocks from where an active shooter shot multiple people at Tree of Life Congregation synagogue...   (Stephanie Strasburg/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

(Newser) – Federal hate crime charges have been filed against the man suspected of killing 11 and injuring at least six in a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday, CNN reports. Robert Bowers, 46, faces 29 charges in all, including 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder plus multiple counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death and obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer, both hate crimes. Four of those injured were law enforcement officers who responded to the scene. Most of the victims have not yet been identified publicly, but officials have said no children were among the dead. CBS Pittsburgh reports that one of the victims was Daniel Stein, a new grandfather; the AP reports that a nurse and chaplain, Daniel Leger, was among the injured. The identities of the others are expected to be released later Sunday.

President Trump continued to condemn the shooting, but, as the AP puts it, "he did not long turn his focus away from the midterm elections or himself." At an Illinois rally for US Rep. Mike Bost Saturday, Trump referred to the "evil anti-Semitic attack," but said canceling his appearance would have made "sick, demented people important." He also said the suspect "was no supporter of mine." He went on to target Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats as usual. Shortly after getting back to Washington, he ordered flags at federal buildings throughout the country to be flown at half-staff in "solemn respect" for the victims until Oct. 31. The AP rounds up reactions from religious leaders, political leaders, world leaders, and others. (Read more about the suspect, including alleged anti-Semitic social media posts, here; more about the shooting, which happened during a baby-naming ceremony, here.)

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