He Yelled 'Death to All Jews.' Then a Jewish Nurse Treated Him

Ari Mahler describes the 'empathy' he decided to show a wounded Robert Bowers
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2018 7:11 AM CST
Jewish Nurse Who Treated Pittsburgh Suspect: I Showed Him 'Empathy'
Pittsburgh's Allegheny General Hospital is seen on Oct. 18, 2017, in Pittsburgh.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

An Allegheny General Hospital nurse who treated Robert Bowers, the man suspected of killing 11 at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, after the shooting has stepped forward via a public Facebook post, and he clarifies his identity: "I am The Jewish Nurse." His name is Ari Mahler, and per TribLIVE, he and an ER doctor were two Jewish medical professionals who tended to Bowers, even after he was reportedly wheeled into the hospital yelling, "Death to all Jews." In his post, Mahler doesn't get into too many specifics about his interaction with Bowers, citing privacy laws, but he reveals how as a kid—he was one of four children of a rabbi, per Heavy.com—he dealt with anti-Semitism, and that even as an adult he plays his religion down as a deflection. He notes he didn't tell Bowers he was Jewish, instead choosing to "show him empathy."

And also "love." "I could care less what Robert Bowers thinks, but you, the person reading this, love is the only message I wish [to] instill in you," he writes. Mahler, who initially worried his own parents could've been among the synagogue victims, says what happened didn't shock him and that "it’s only a matter of time before the next one happens," adding although "my heart yearns for change … today's climate doesn't foster nurturing, tolerance, or civility." He also notes he didn't see "evil" when he looked into Bowers' eyes, but "something else." Hospital President Jeff Cohen, who said Mahler came to him in tears after treating Bowers, concurs. "He's a very lost guy," Cohen says of Bowers, per TribLIVE, but "he's not the face of the devil. He's just a guy who committed a very heinous act." Read Mahler's post here. (Also working off of love: Muslims raising money for victims of the shooting.)

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