Synagogue-Shooting Suspect Held without Bond

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady speaks to media after Robert Bowers, the man arrested in Saturday’s mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, made his first appearance in court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, October 29, 2018. (Cathal McNaughton/REUTERS)

The suspect in the Saturday massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue that left eleven dead appeared in court Monday and is being held without bond by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Robert Bowers, 46, appeared in federal court in Pittsburgh in a wheelchair and was mostly silent as the 29 charges against him — including eleven counts of obstruction of religious exercise ending in death and eleven counts of use of a firearm to murder — were read. Because he is unable to afford a private attorney, he will be represented by a public defender as the case proceeds.

Armed with an AR-15 and three pistols, Bowers allegedly began spraying bullets during a service at the Tree of Life synagogue Saturday morning, shouting, “All Jews must die.” He was injured in a stand-off with police before his arrest.

Eleven people were killed in the massacre, many of them elderly, and six were injured, including four police officers.

“Robert Bowers murdered eleven people who were exercising their religious beliefs,” U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said.

The suspect had a habit of posting anti-Semitic content online and threatening the Jewish community. His next hearing is scheduled for Thursday, and a grand jury will consider the case within 30 days.

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