Pittsburgh Hate Crime


Georgia Morris, Co-Editor

Over the weekend, a terrible hate crime was committed in Pittsburgh. On Saturday morning, Robert Bowers entered the Tree of Life synagogue and opened fire during a Jewish bris, which is a circumcision ceremony. A total of eleven people were killed and six were injured, including members of the synagogue and officials. Upon surrendering, Bowers was making anti-Semitic statements, saying that he wanted all Jews to die, and that Jews were committing genocide to his people, proving that this was a crime motivated by hate and prejudice. The crime is being investigated by the FBI as a hate crime. Bob Jones, the special agent in charge of the FBI Pittsburgh, said “This is the most horrific crime scene I’ve seen in 22 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.”

As of Sunday, Allegheny County was charging Bowers with eleven counts of criminal homicide, six counts of criminal attempted homicide, six counts of aggravated assault, and thirteen counts of ethnic intimidation. On Monday, Bowers appeared in federal court in a wheelchair due to injuries sustained during his stand off with the police. Throughout his appearance, the only words he spoke publicly were “yes” and “yes sir.” The court assigned an attorney to Bowers, and he was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday. On Wednesday, the shooter was indicted by a federal court on 44 counts, which included obstruction of justice, use of a firearm to commit murder, and obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs. Bowers pleaded not guilty the next day in court, and a jury trial was requested.