Pittsburgh synagogue gunman indicted on 44 counts, including hate crimes

Pittsburgh synagogue gunman indicted on 44 counts, including hate crimes

The suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre faces 44 federal charges - a lot of them death penalty offenses - in the slaying of 11 worshippers during last weekend's Shabbat services, according to a grand jury filing released Wednesday.

The Tree of Life Congregation's rabbi said on Thursday he was "pleasantly surprised" by US President Donald Trump's "personal side" when he visited the Pittsburgh synagogue Wednesday following a vicious shooting there over the weekend.

Prosecutors say Bowers entered the Tree of Life Synagogue with multiple firearms, including Glock.357-caliber handguns and a Colt AR-15 rifle, and made statements expressing his desire to "kill Jews".

It says the Pittsburgh shooting was the worst attack against the Jewish community in US history.

Four police officers were wounded trying to apprehend Bowers, who stands accused of shooting three of the wounded officers.

A grand jury voted to indict Bowers on 44 counts, according to a filing in federal court in Pittsburgh.

He has been charged with 29 federal felony counts, including hate crimes, and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Bowers is jailed without bail.

Prosecutors have stated they will seek the death penalty against Bowers.

Funeral services continue today as Pittsburgh mourns the lives lost in a shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill.

Meanwhile, grieving family and friends are continuing to gather at ongoing funerals for the slain worshippers.

There will be additional services Wednesday and Thursday.

The attack, following a wave of pipe bombs mailed to prominent Democrats and other Trump critics, has heightened national tensions days ahead of U.S. congressional elections on Tuesday that will decide whether President Donald Trump loses the Republican majority he now enjoys in the Senate and House.

Late on an overcast Thursday morning, mourners trickled into the Ralph Schugar Chapel for the funeral of Sylvan Simon, 86, and his wife, Bernice, 84, who had been married for almost 62 years.

The Simons were the "sweetest people you could imagine", a neighbor who lived next to them for almost 40 years said.

Leaders of a private Jewish academy in Squirrel Hill, near Saturday's massacre, are keeping close watch on their students as they try to process the anti-Semitic attack that left 11 people dead.

Trump shook everybody's hand while they thanked him, and the first lady soon joined in before they continued down the hallway.

"We are Tree of Life and, as I said before to many, you can cut off some of the branches from our tree, but Tree of Life has been in Pittsburgh for 154 years".

"I agree with the letter and even if he denounced it (white nationalism), I wouldn't believe him because he's a liar".

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