Courtesy of Creative Commons

By Isha Marathe 10/29/2018

Eleven people were killed and six others were wounded in Saturday morning’s massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The gunman, who was taken into custody, has been identified as 46-year-old Robert Bowers.

With an AR-15-style assault rifle and three handguns, Bowers opened fire on the congregation during Saturday morning Shabbat services. As he mowed down the Jewish faithful, he shouted anti-Semitic slurs. Three separate events were going on at the synagogue. Among the 11 casualties, three were police officers trying to stop Bowers’ shooting spree.

The victims were all killed with legally purchased firearms.

When asked about stricter gun control laws, President Trump said they had “little to do with it.” In fact, an armed guard might have been able to stop the gunman “immediately,” he said.

At a rally for the midterm elections in Illinois, President Trump condemned the synagogue rampage as “evil and anti-Semitic attack.” However, he said cancelling his campaign event in honor of the lives lost during the massacre would make “sick, demented people important.”

“The hearts of all Americans are filled with grief, following the monstrous killing,” he said, and ordered all U.S. flags at federal buildings to be flown at half-staff until Oct. 31.

The President also said the nation should bring back the death penalty in states which don’t condone execution.

Meanwhile, Bowers could be charged with 29 counts for the shooting and could in fact face the death penalty, said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“When people do this, they should get the death penalty,” he said. “Anybody that does a thing like this to innocent people that are in temple or in church … they should be suffering the ultimate price, they should pay the ultimate price.”