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October 28, 2018

Hundreds attend Rittenhouse vigil for victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

Vigils Shootings
Tree of life synagogue pittsburgh Screenshot/Google Street View

The view of the Tree of Life Synagogue from the intersection of Shady Avenue and Wilkins Avenue.

Hundreds of people attended a Saturday night vigil in Rittenhouse Square to pay their respects to the victims of a deadly shooting this weekend at a synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

Eleven people were killed and six others injured Saturday morning when a lone gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life Congregation, where Shabbat services were underway.

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A police standoff with the shooter led to the arrest of 48-year-old Robert Bowers, who was subsequently charged with 29 federal counts from the U.S. Department of Justice. Charges include criminal homicide and ethnic intimidation. Officials said the shooting could potentially lead to a death penalty conviction.

More than two hundred people gathered at Rittenhouse Square on Saturday night to mourn those who died in the attack.

Officials from around the country condemned the ambush on Saturday and President Donald Trump said he planned to schedule a trip to Pittsburgh in the near future.

The Anti-Defamation League said Saturday's shooting is likely the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in U.S. history.

Authorities said Bowers had posted anti-Semitic threats and conspiracy theories online in the weeks leading up to the attack, according to CBS News. He was reportedly arrested with an assault rifle and three handguns.

An interfaith vigil is planned for 5 pm Sunday afternoon at Philadelphia's Rodeph Shalom Congregation, located at Broad and Green Streets.

A GoFundMe campaign has been created to support The Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh. Donations can be made from the link below.