Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting Suspect Could Face Death Penalty over Hate Crimes

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Pittsburgh synagogue mass shooting
Photo credits: AP/Matt Rourke

The suspect in the deadly synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh is facing 44 federal charges, most are punishable by death.

On Wednesday, a federal grand jury indicted the synagogue shooter, Robert Bowers with federal hate crimes including:

  • Eleven counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death;
  • Eleven counts of use and discharge of a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence;
  • Two counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving an attempt to kill and use of a dangerous weapon and resulting in bodily injury;
  • Eleven counts of use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence;
  • Eight counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving an attempt to kill and use of a dangerous weapon, and resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer; and
  • One count of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs involving use of a dangerous weapon and resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer.

According to the indictment, Bowers went to the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh with an intention to kill Jews. Bowers entered the building armed with multiple firearms including Glock .357 handguns and a Colt AR-15 rifle. He opened fire inside the synagogue and killed 11 worshippers and injured six others including law enforcement officers. During the course of his deadly shooting, Bowers stated, “They’re committing genocide to my people. I just want to kill Jews.”

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