Who Is Robert Bowers? Suspect Identified in Pittsburgh Tree of Life Synagogue Shooting

Authorities identified Robert Bowers on Saturday afternoon as the suspect in connection with a morning shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, that left at least eight people dead.

A law enforcement official who identified Bowers as the suspect told the Associated Press he was in his 40s.

Bowers was a known anti-Semite. About an hour before the shooting, Bowers wrote of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society on the social media site Gab: “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics. I’m going in.” 

His profile on the Twitter-like alt-right platform read, “jews are the children of satan. (john 8:44) --- the lord jesus christ is come in the flesh.”

Bowers's posts indicate he was not only anti-Jew, but also anti-President Donald Trump. 

"Trump is a globalist, not a nationalist," Bowers wrote. "There is no #MAGA as long as there is a kike infestation."

In another post, Bowers wrote of the president: “For the record, I did not vote for him nor have I owned, worn or even touched a maga hat.”

His Gab account was deleted after the shooting, but an archive has been circulating social media. 

The shooter reportedly burst into the synagogue and shouted, "All Jews must die!" while firing, according the CBS News. He was possibly armed with an AK 47 and two pistols. 

A gunman described as a white man with a beard surrendered to police shortly after 11 a.m. following an exchange of gunfire, according to the media outlet. 

Reports of a shooting at the synagogue located at 5898 Wilkins Avenue on Squirrel Hill broke out just after 10 a.m. 

Gab confirmed that Bowers had created a profile on the platform, that the account was verified after the shooting and that the name was the same as that of the gunman announced through police scanners. 

In a statement, Gab said it suspended Bowers's account, saved the content and informed the FBI. 

Despite his comments on Gab, Bowers was not known or being track by law enforcement officials.

Investigators believe that Bowers was not coordinating his efforts with anyone else, Bob Jones, the special agent leading the FBI’s office in Pittsburgh, told the AP late afternoon Saturday. 

Bowers's motive remained unknown to officials. 

Jones, who had worked with the FBI for 23 years, described the synagogue shooting as “the most horrific crime scene I have seen."

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