Accused Pittsburgh gunman appears in court, will be held without bail

By Clyde Hughes, Ed Adamczyk, Danielle Haynes and Daniel Uria
Accused Pittsburgh gunman appears in court, will be held without bail
A visitor at the temporary memorial outside the Tree of Life Synagogue where 11 were killed over the weekend kneels to read the messages by the Star of David markers with the victims names on them in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on Monday. Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 29 (UPI) -- The man accused of killing nearly a dozen people at a Pittsburgh synagogue was denied bail during a court appearance on Monday.

Suspect Robert Bowers entered the court in downtown Pittsburgh seated in a wheelchair after he was discharged from a hospital Monday morning. He answered the judge's questions during the brief hearing.


Bowers waived a reading of the criminal complaint against him and the possible penalties he faces.

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady told reporters after the hearing that Bowers would be detained without bond until his next court appearance Thursday.

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"Our investigation of these hate crimes continues," Brady said. "Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victim's families and with the community. And rest assured, we have a team of prosecutors working hard to ensure that justice is done."

Bowers faces 11 counts of obstruction of religious beliefs resulting in death, 11 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder, four counts of obstruction religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury and three counts of use of a firearm during a violent crime.

He's also charged with 11 counts of homicide in Pennsylvania state court, six counts of attempted homicide, six counts of aggravated assault and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation.

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The first burials are scheduled for Tuesday, in accordance with Jewish tradition.

According to court documents, Bowers told police he wanted to "kill Jews" during the rampage Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Eleven people died and several were injured.

A hospital spokeswoman said Monday Bowers was discharged from Allegheny General Hospital and remanded to police custody. He was injured in a gunfight with police at the synagogue, authorities said.

The FBI wrote in a criminal complaint that Bowers said he purposely targeted those of the Jewish faith in the shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue.

"During the course of his deadly assault on people at the synagogue, and simultaneously with his gunfight with responding officers, Bowers made statements evincing an animus towards people of the Jewish faith," an agent wrote in the complaint.

"Bowers commented to one law enforcement officer, in substance, 'They're committing genocide to my people. I just want to kill Jews.' Bowers repeated comments regarding genocide, his desire to kill Jewish people, and that Jewish people needed to die."

The federal complaint said Bowers was armed with three Glock .357 handguns and a Colt AR-15 assault rifle during the attack. The weapons were not from Pennsylvania and were shipped into the state, it said.


The Washington Post reported that a social media account attributed to Bowers expressed disdain for members of the Jewish community and immigrants.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump were expected to visit with victims' families in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

"The president wants to be there to show the support of his administration," she said.

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