Robert Bowers, 46, who has a history of posting anti-Semitic messages online, has been charged under federal hate crime statutes and could face the death penalty if convicted.
‘DEFEAT HATE WITH LOVE’
“This is the darkest hour in our city’s history,” Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto declared during Sunday’s service.
“But here’s another thing about Pittsburgh. We are resilient. We will work together as one. We will defeat hate with love. We will be a city of compassion and we will be welcoming to all people,” he said to cheers.
The names of the dead were released hours earlier. They included David Rosenthal, 54; his brother Cecil Rosenthal, 59; Sylvan Simon, 86, and his wife Bernice Simon, 84; Joyce Fienberg, 75; Richard Gottfried, 65; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69. The eldest victim was Rose Mallinger, 97.
Rabinowitz was a family physician who initially escaped the attack only to be killed when he returned to render aid to the wounded, according to a Wall Street Journal op-ed column by Pittsburgh carpet salesman Lou Weiss, who knew five victims personally.
Five of the dead lived in Squirrel Hill, a quiet, leafy district with a large Jewish population. The community also was home to the late Fred Rogers, whose long-running children’s television show “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” featured lessons on friendship and kindness.
The remaining victims were from other parts of Pittsburgh, the second-largest city in Pennsylvania after Philadelphia.
The mass shooting sparked security alerts at houses of worship around the country and condemnation from politicians and religious leaders.