WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said anti-Semitism appears to be the motivation for the deadly Saturday morning shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pa.
“It looks definitely like it’s an anti-Semitic crime,” Trump told reporters shortly after stepping off Air Force One in Indianapolis, Ind. “That is something you wouldn’t believe still could be going on.”
The president reportedly is considering canceling his scheduled weekend campaign stops to head back to Washington to handle the federal response to the attack.
Earlier Saturday the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum issued a statement condemning the attack.
“The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum strongly condemns the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh and sends its deepest sympathies to the victims and families of those who were callously murdered.”
At least ten people were killed in the attack. The number of wounded is not yet known but is said to include several police officers.
Forty-six-year-old Robert Bowers was arrested in connection with the attack.
Bowers reportedly entered the Squirrel Hill synagogue around 10 a.m. EDT as the Saturday morning Shabbat service was taking place. Before opening fire Bowers shouted: “All Jews must die!,” according to media reports.
CNN reported police discovered that Bowers wrote a thinly-veiled threat on his Gab social media account shortly before the attack: “Can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
It is not yet known what Bowers meant.
Bowers is being treated at a Pittsburgh hospital for non-life-threatning injuries he sustained during a shootout with police, according to media reports.
CNN reported that the FBI is investigating the attack as a hate crime.
Pittsburgh is home about 40,000 Jews. It is the second largest Jewish community in Pennsylvania. Philadelphia is the largest with a Jewish population of about 275,000.
This is a developing story…