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11 Killed, 6 Injured In Shooting At Pittsburgh Synagogue

Gene J. Puskar/AP

Updated at 4:15 p.m. ET

Officials in Pittsburgh report 11 people were killed in today's shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. No children were killed.

Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich told reporters six people were injured, including four police officers.

Hissrich said a suspect is in custody and was taken to the hospital.

His voice breaking, Hissrich said it was a "very horrific crime scene."

"It's one of the worst that I've seen and I've been on some plane crashes," Hissrich said. "It's very bad."

The deadly shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.

A service at the synagogue was scheduled to start at about 9:45 a.m. ET, according to the Tree of Life website. There were reports of a shooting beginning at about 10:20 a.m.

On his way to Air Force One in the afternoon, President Trump addressed the shooting, remarking that if there were an armed guard inside the temple, the shooter might have been stopped. He also suggested that bringing "the death penalty into vogue" would deter such attacks.

WESA reporter Lucy Perkins noted on Twitter that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf arrived on the scene.

In a statement, Wolf condemned the shooting, saying these "senseless acts of violence are not who we are as Americans."

"We must all pray and hope for no more loss of life," Wolf said. "But we have been saying 'this one is too many' for far too long. Dangerous weapons are putting our citizens in harm's way."

According to the synagogue's website, Rabbi Hazzan Jeffrey Myers usually leads its Saturday service. In July, Myers wrote an essay for the synagogue's website, titled, "We Deserve Better," which focuses on several issues, including gun control. Myers wrote:

"Despite continuous calls for sensible gun control and mental health care, our elected leaders in Washington knew that it would fade away in time.  Unless there is a dramatic turnaround in the mid-term elections, I fear that that the status quo will remain unchanged, and school shootings will resume. I shouldn't have to include in my daily morning prayers that God should watch over my wife and daughter, both teachers, and keep them safe. Where are our leaders?"

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a video statement that he was "heartbroken and appalled" by the shooting today.

"The entire people of Israel grieve with the families of the dead. We stand together with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. We stand together with the American people in the face of this horrendous anti-Semitic brutality. And we all pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded," Netanyahu said.

The Israeli Education Minister, Naftali Bennett, will depart for the United States today to Pittsburgh to visit the scene of the attack, meet the local community and participate in the funerals of those killed in the attack.

Trump weighed in this morning, tweeting he was watching the events as they were unfolding.


To reporters at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, he said of the lack of an armed guard: "They didn't have any protection. They had a maniac walk in and they didn't have any protection."

He added: "And, that is just so sad to see. So sad to see. The results could have been much better."

In order to stop shootings like this from happening in the future, Trump said, "I think one thing we should do is we should stiffen up laws in terms of the death penalty."

"I think they should very much bring the death penalty into vogue," Trump said.

"Anyone that does something like this to innocent people that are in temple or church, we've had so many incidents with churches. ... they should really suffer the ultimate price, they should really pay the ultimate price. I've felt that way for a long time."

Upon arriving at the Future Farmers of America Convention in Indianapolis, Trump addressed the shooting in his speech saying it was "hard to believe" and "frankly something that is unimaginable."

"This was an anti-Semitic act," Trump said. "You wouldn't think this would be possible in this day and age, but we just don't seem to learn from the past."

Vice President Mike Pence commended law enforcement officers for their swift response.

"There is no place in America for violence or anti-Semitism and this evil must end," Pence said at an event in Las Vegas.

He echoed Trump, agreeing that anyone who commits such an act in a temple or a church should pay the ultimate price.

This is a developing story. Some things that get reported by the media will later turn out to be wrong. We will focus on reports from police officials and other authorities, credible news outlets and reporters who are at the scene. We will update as the situation develops.

Jonese Franklin