Shortly after Shabbat services began at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh, PA on Saturday, October 27, 2018, a lone gunman entered and began shooting up the congregation with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle and two Glock hand guns. He left 11 dead and another six wounded, including several police officers who responded to the 911 calls. The suspect, Robert Bowers, was apprehended after being shot by police and remains in the hospital, though he faces arraignment on 29 Federal charges on the Monday. Bowers had a history of anti-Semitic posts on social media sites, and told arresting officers that he “just wanted to kill Jews”, whom he accused of bringing terrorists into the US to destroy the country.
The rampage is the most deadly act of anti-Semitism in US history, and the 294th mass shooting in the country this year. Obviously, we’ve been down this road many times before; it is wide and commodious, and there appears to be no turning.