Police in Pittsburgh have apprehended a suspect after a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in the city’s plurality Jewish Squirrel Hill neighborhood. Multiple people are now dead and wounded.
The suspect has been identified as 46-year-old white nationalist Robert Bowers.
According to local CBS affiliate KDKA, at least ten people have been confirmed dead and the same number were wounded by the anti-Semitic attack.
The shooter is reportedly still alive and was previously confined on the synagogue’s third floor before reportedly being taken into custody by police.
BREAKING At least eight people have been killed in a shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and a suspect has been detained after an exchange of gunfire in which at least two police officers were wounded, reports local TV station @KDKA.
— James Cook (@BBCJamesCook) October 27, 2018
Law enforcement asked residents to remain inside their homes after exchanging fire with the gunman, according to multiple reports. As police arrived, the alleged perpetrator apparently began firing at officers–striking three–and forcing police to use their vehicles as shields against the bullets.
Saturday services were ongoing at the time the incident began and the synagogue was full of worshipers as the alleged suspect began firing.
Nearby Carnegie Mellon University is also currently on lock down with officials from the school requesting that students avoid the campus area.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto traveled to the site of the shooting as it was ongoing and later met with individuals and leaders there:
Just left a meeting with leaders of Pittsburgh’s Jewish community. I let them know of the outpouring of love & support from across our city, our nation & our world. https://t.co/fcWe7xLj9K
— bill peduto (@billpeduto) October 27, 2018
Squirrel Hill is a plurality Jewish neighborhood and the historic and geographic hub of the city’s Jewish community. Most of the neighborhood is ringed by a consecrated wall known as an “eruv” which allows orthodox members of the Jewish faith to push strollers or carry items on the Sabbath.
[image via screengrab]
Editor’s note: this story has been amended post-publication to account for developments.