The Slatest

Husband and Wife, Two Brothers, 97-Year-Old Among Dead in Synagogue Shooting

Women embrace in front of memorial flowers on October 28, 2018 outside of the Tree of Life Synagogue after a shooting there left 11 people dead in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018.
Women embrace in front of memorial flowers on October 28, 2018 outside of the Tree of Life Synagogue after a shooting there left 11 people dead in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on October 27, 2018. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty Images

The Allegheny County medical examiners’ office released the names of those who were killed in the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday and the first thing that jumps out are their ages. All the victims were middle aged or elderly. Robert Gregory Bowers, 46, killed eight men and three women ranging in age from 54 to 97 inside the synagogue before police shot him. Bowers told an officer while he was being treated for his injuries “that he wanted all Jews to die and also that they were committing genocide to his people,” according to a police affidavit.

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Among those killed was a married couple—Bernice Simon, 84, and Sylvan Simon, 86—two brothers—Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and David Rosenthal, 54—and a 97-year-old—Rose Mallinger. The others who were killed were all in their 60s— Richard Godfried, 65, Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, and Erving Youngner, 69—70s—Joyce Feinberg, 75 and Daniel Stein, 71—and Melvin Wax, who was 88.

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The death toll could still increase as two of the injured are listed in critical condition, including one of the four injured police officers. A 61-year-old woman is in stable condition while a 70-year-old man is in critical condition. One 40-year-old male police officer is also in critical condition while a 55-year-old and a 27-year-old are in stable condition. Another injured police officer who was treated in the hospital has already been released.

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Bowers, who was reportedly armed with an AR-15 rifle and three handguns, will be making his first appearance before a judge on Monday afternoon. He was charged with 11 state counts of criminal homicide, six counts of aggravated assault and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation. Federal prosecutors also charged Bowers with 29 criminal counts. The charges “could lead to the death penalty,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “The actions of Robert Bowers represent the worst of humanity. We are dedicating the entire resources of my office to this federal hate crime investigation and prosecution,” U.S. attorney for western Pennsylvania Scott Brady told reporters.

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