Pittsburgh shooting: Trump visits synagogue amid protests

A memorial for victims of the mass shooting that killed 11 people and wounded six at the Tree Of Life Synagogue

Others, including Yulia Kushner, who lives in the Squirrel Hill neighbourhood near the Tree of Life Synagogue, acknowledged many in the Jewish community did not want Trump to visit because they blame his rhetoric for increasing hate, but it was still fitting that the president paid his respects.

The two brothers, who lived at a home for people with disabilities, were among the 11 mostly elderly congregants killed when a gunman stormed into the Tree of Life synagogue and opened fire on worshippers, yelling: "All Jews must die".

The attack, believed to be the deadliest against Jews in the United States in recent history, has fueled a fierce political debate about white nationalism and antisemitism ahead of hotly contested U.S. congressional elections next week.

This courtroom sketch depicts Robert Gregory Bowers, who was wounded in a gun battle with police as he appeared in a wheelchair at federal court on October 29, 2018, in Pittsburgh.

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

Under the expanded charges, he could face the death penalty, or life in prison without parole followed by a consecutive sentence of 535 years' imprisonment, the Justice Department said. Bowers is being held without bail at the Butler County jail.

His appearance today came as funerals for three more victims were planned during the day. He also condemned the shooting and called for the death penalty for the attackers.

REPORTER: "Then why is the president suggesting it's the news media".

Their arrival coincided with the first victims' funerals.

It was a controversial visit for some as politicians and some city residents had wanted the President to stay away until the Tree of Life congregation had had time to bury all the dead.

The president and the First Lady plan to travel to Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

Carrying signs that read "President Hate, Leave Our State!" and "Trump, Renounce White Nationalism Now", the protesters gathered near the Tree of Life synagogue where the carnage unfolded Saturday.

The approximately 40 high schoolers at the Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh attended Wednesday's funeral for Joyce Fienberg, whose niece used to teach at their school.

Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Cecil Rosenthal, 59; David Rosenthal, 54; Bernice Simon, 84; Sylvan Simon, 86; Rose Mallinger, 97; Daniel Stein, 71; Melvin Wax, 88; and Irving Younger, 69, were identified as the 11 victims in the shooting.

They were greeted by Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who led them inside the temple where they lighted candles for the victims.

"I can't imagine the stress he's under", said his predecessor, Rabbi Charles "Chuck" Diamond.

The attack is believed to be the deadliest against the Jewish community in the United States.

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