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What We Know About The Pittsburgh Shooting


And now we're joined by NPR's Sarah McCammon, who is in Pittsburgh. Hello, Sarah.


COLEMAN: Sarah, the officials told us who the victims are. What more do we know?

MCCAMMON: Well, we're hearing a lot about this community. The Tree of Life synagogue is in a lovely, quiet, older neighborhood. And a lot of the people who came here, this was a big part of their life, of their community and their religious practice. And a lot of the victims were older people. They ranged in age from 54 to 97. And we're told by people who knew them that they were regular attendees, many of them, just there on a Saturday morning worshipping. There's also a married couple in their 80s and a pair of brothers in their 50s among the 11 victims.

COLEMAN: So what's the next step?

MCCAMMON: Well, remembering the dead, grieving, picking up the pieces, as so many communities have done across this country. The families have been notified, and preparations will now be made for funeral services. Authorities say they're trying to honor here both civil and religious law.

They are, you know, carrying out an investigation, and they've had to deal with identifying the bodies. And, of course, you know, the synagogue has been a crime scene. In Jewish tradition, burials often tend to take place quickly, so authorities are trying to be sensitive to that, work with the families on that. And we do know, Korva, that as of this morning, all the bodies had been removed from the synagogue.

COLEMAN: Now, Sarah, we heard about the police who rushed in to the scene. Several of them were injured. How are they?

MCCAMMON: Yes. There's been a lot of praise for these officers who confronted the shooter. Four of the six people who were injured but not killed were police. We're told that one of them is out of the hospital. Another is hoped to be out soon. And the other two are still being treated. It's not clear how long they'll be hospitalized or what kind of treatment they'll need. But officials say it's very possible that it - were it not for the quick work of these officers, this situation would have been even more deadly than it already was.

COLEMAN: Sarah, can you tell us what the latest is on the criminal aspect of the case?

MCCAMMON: Right. We have heard more about what happened during the 20 minutes or so that the shooter was at Tree of Life synagogue yesterday and gunned down these 11 people. He had three handguns and an assault rifle. There are 29 federal charges against him that were filed last night. They say the shooter's 46, has a history of anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant social media posts. And also, authorities said this morning that he made such remarks during this attack at the synagogue yesterday.

It is being looked at as a hate crime. And among those 29 charges are several that could carry the death penalty, also several that are specific to the fact that he was attacking people allegedly while they were exercising their religious beliefs. We also know from officials that there is no indication at this point that there were any other accomplices. And we're told as of this morning the alleged shooter was still in the hospital but is expected to make his first court appearance tomorrow afternoon.

COLEMAN: Sarah, can you tell us about the mood of the city? Are there any vigils planned?

MCCAMMON: There have been. There were some last night, and there - of course, as, again, so many communities have done - seems like month after month - people gathering, remembering the dead. I saw flowers set down along the corner of the synagogue this morning. And tonight there will be an interfaith church service this evening to remember the victims.

COLEMAN: NPR's Sarah McCammon in Pittsburgh. Sarah, thank you.


COLEMAN: Here are the names of the victims of yesterday's attack on the Tree of Life synagogue - Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Rose Mallinger, Jerry Rabinowitz, Cecil and David Rosenthal - they were brothers - Bernice and Sylvan Simon - they were married - Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax and Irving Younger. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Sarah McCammon
Sarah McCammon is a National Correspondent covering the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast for NPR. Her work focuses on political, social and cultural divides in America, including abortion and reproductive rights, and the intersections of politics and religion. She's also a frequent guest host for NPR news magazines, podcasts and special coverage.