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11 dead and 6 injured as shooter opens fire during baby naming ceremony at Pittsburgh synagogue

The suspect is in custody in hospital.

Updated Oct 27th 2018, 11:32 PM

ELEVEN PEOPLE WERE killed and at least six more injured in a shooting at a synagogue in the US city of Pittsburgh today. 

The suspect, named as Robert Bowers, is now in custody in hospital. It is understood 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 have also been shot, the condition of the officers was not immediately clear.

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

Attorney General Jeff Sessions later added that the Justice Department plans to file hate crime and other charges against Bowers. He called the killings “reprehensible and utterly repugnant to the values of the nation”.  

BNO news is reporting that the incident began there at 10am local time (3pm Irish time). Television pictures showed a police SWAT team and ambulances in the area.

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

US President Donald Trump condemned the attack  as “an assault on humanity,” and calling 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.”

He has since travelled to southern Illinois for a rally. Trump said he chose to continue with the event because he did not want “evil people” to control his life. But he said he would change his tone while speaking. 

With reporting by AP 

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Rónán Duffy

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