A suspect has been taken into custody in Pittsburgh, in the US state of Pennsylvania, after a shooting at a synagogue that killed at least 11 people and injured six others, including four police officers, according to authorities.
Wendell Hissrich, the city’s public safety director, said Saturday’s suspected attacker was at a hospital in fair condition with multiple gunshot wounds.
FBI special agent Bob Jones said the attacker used an assault rifle and three handguns inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighbourhood.
The attacker was leaving when he met an officer, Jones said.
Local television station KDKA said the suspect in custody was a “white male”. A law enforcement official, who spoke to The Associated Press news agency on condition of anonymity, identified the detainee as Robert Bowers, a man in his 40s.
An earlier social media post by Bowers said: “[A Jewish refugee organisation, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society] 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.”
The comment was posted on Gab, a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based social networking service created as an alternative to Twitter.
Bowers also recently posted a photo of a collection of three semi-automatic handguns he titled “my glock family,” a reference to the firearms manufacturer.
He also posted photos of bullet holes in person-sized targets at a firing range, touting the “amazing trigger” on a handgun he was offering for sale.
In a statement, Gab.com confirmed the profile belonged to Bowers.
“Gab took swift and proactive action to contact law enforcement immediately,” it said.
“We first backed up all user data from the account and then proceeded to suspend the account. We then contacted the FBI and made them aware of this account and the user data in our possession.”
Al Jazeera’s John Hendren, reporting from Washington, DC, said the shots began at about 10am local time as worshipers were gathering for Sabbath (Saturday) services.
“There were perhaps 60 to 100 people inside there,” he said.
Source :AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES