The suspect in the Tree of Life shooting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, appeared in court for the first time Monday following the murder of 11 people on Saturday.
The US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott Brady, announced in a news conference that the suspect, Robert Bowers, was advised by the federal magistrate judge of the charges against him and is now being held in jail without bond. The judge also scheduled a hearing for Thursday at 10 AM where the government will have the opportunity to present evidence that the suspect murdered 11 people and injured six others, including four police officers.
Brady also stated, “Under the law, we must present this case to a federal grand jury within 30 days of today.” Brady closed offering his thoughts and prayers to the victims’ families and the community while reassuring the community that there is a team of prosecutors working to see justice on this case. The US Attorney’s office has also begun the process to seek the death penalty for the suspect, which will require the approval of US Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
The shooting took place early Saturday when a suspect, carrying multiple firearms, entered the Tree of Life Synagogue during a Jewish naming ceremony and began shooting. The suspect was apprehended when he surrendered to police officers after being wounded. The suspect posted anti-semitic content on social media prior to the shooting.
The federal charges filed in a criminal complaint Saturday are:
18 USC 247(a)(2) and 247(d)(1) (Counts 1-11) Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Belief Resulting in Death
18 USC 924(c)(1 )(A) 1 9240)(1) (Counts 12-22) Use of a Firearm to Commit Murder During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence
18 USC 247(a)(2) and 247(d)(3) (Counts 23-26) Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Belief Resulting in Bodily Injury to a Public Safety Officer
18 USC 924(c)(1 )(A)(iii) (Counts 27-29) Obstruction of Exercise of Religious Belief Resulting in Bodily Injury to a Public Safety Officer Use and Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania will be filing additional charges on top of the federal charges.