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Victims of synagogue shooting ranged in age from 54 to 97

The man suspected of the killings was earlier charged with murder.

Updated Oct 28th 2018, 2:38 PM

Shooting Synagogue Rosie Villano & Chai Smith hold candles during an interfaith vigil outside of Sixth Presbyterian Church, Pittsburgh. Source: Alexandra Wimley/AP/Press Association Images

ALL ELEVEN VICTIMS of the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh have been identified and their families notified, authorities said today.

“After difficult work by the medical examiner’s office, all 11 victims were positively identified and next of kin notifications took place,” Robert Jones, the FBI agent in charge of the investigation, said at an early-morning press briefing.

They ranged in age from 54 to 97, said Karl Williams, the county medical examiner.

They included two brothers and one married couple.

The man suspected of the killings was earlier charged with murder. 

Robert Bowers (46) is now in custody in hospital.

It’s understood that he shouted anti-Semitic slurs before he opened fire at a baby-naming ceremony at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighbourhood.

Three police officers were also shot in the incident. 

The Pennsylvania attorney general said the gunman “claimed innocent lives” at the family event. 

Bowers will now face federal charges that carry the death penalty, according to the US Justice Department.

“Hatred and violence on the basis of religion can have no place in our society,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. 

“These alleged crimes are reprehensible and utterly repugnant to the values of this nation. Accordingly, the Department of Justice will file hate crimes and other criminal charges against the defendant, including charges that could lead to the death penalty.”

Saturday morning would traditionally be the busiest time of the week at a synagogue as it is the Jewish Sabbath.

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US President Donald Trump condemned yesterday’s attack as “an assault on humanity,” and called on Americans to “unite to conquer hate.”

In a pair of tweets, Trump said: 

“All of America is in mourning over the mass murder of Jewish Americans at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We pray for those who perished and their loved ones, and our hearts go out to the brave police officers who sustained serious injuries.

This evil Anti-Semitic attack is an assault on humanity. It will take all of us working together to extract the poison of Anti-Semitism from our world. We must unite to conquer hate.

- Reporting by AFP and Associated Press  

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