Yelling racial slurs, Robert Bowers, 46, began a shooting spree, October 27, 2018, at the Tree Of Life Synagogue located in Pittsburgh. He aggressively murdered 11 innocent victims and wounded 6, including 4 police officers. Many of the victims were brought together on Saturday morning for a naming ceremony, where a baby is given a Hebrew name that honors a passed relative.
Robert Bowers was charged with 29 offenses in total, including 11 for hate crime assault, which can lead to the death penalty, and 11 more for using a weapon to kill. The victims are listed as follows: brothers David and Cecil Rosenthal (54, 59); Robert Gottfried (65); Jerry Rabinowitz (66); Irving Younger (69); Daniel Stein (71); Joyce Feinberg (75); husband and wife Bernice and Sylvan Simon (84, 86); Melvin Wax (88); and the oldest, Rose Mallinger (97).
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump went to visit and pay their respects soon after the incident. Thousands of people also attended the funeral processions and tributes to remember their loved ones and friends. In an interview, President Trump stated: “If they have some kind of protection inside the temple, maybe it could have been a very much different situation. They didn’t.” This sparked many protests among the people of Pittsburgh, some saying he was “unwelcome in [our] city and [our] country.”
This mass shooting has left many people to question their security and just how protected they are. Gil Preuss, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington, said: “People were asking themselves ‘Is this a new world we’re living in right now? What do we need to do? How do we respond with security? How do we make sure that the children are protected? What does that look like?’” He also continued by saying, “People see this as a shift in the dynamic of the level of security that the Jewish community feels within the United States. ”