Saturday, 19 Jan 2019

At the beginning of worship, an armed man hurts in a Pittsburgh shrine

Police officers secure the scene where several people were shot dead Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. (Alexandra Wimley / AP) Steve Hendrix Free Portfolio-based Feature Film Editor Based on Local Enterprise but Filer for National, Foreign, Magazine and Other Sections October 28 at 8:11 pm PITTSBURGH – Keith Murray knew there was an armed man in the building, but he did not know where? The police still had not found the attacker when Murray, a doctor who wore full armor allowing him to actively participate in the shooting hunt with the Pittsburgh SWAT team, entered a lower door of the synagogue Tree of Life. The use of a high-powered weapon became obvious immediately. The team of officers with whom he was found two terrified faithful who were hiding in an antechamber off the shrine and hastily took them out. They found an elderly woman who was shot in the arm and was in shock. As the officers moved away to search the upper floors, Murray quickly stabilized his wound and she was taken away. The first four dead they saw were in the benches, shot to where they were sitting at the start of the service. As Murray's team progressed, they found empty magazines from the shooter's rifle, which fell to the ground when the shooter apparently reloaded. Used bullets formed a trail and the officers started working slowly up the stairs and up. Murray was on a landing on the second floor when the quiet silence of the search was shattered by a small explosion. The SWAT team had opened a door on an upper floor where the gunman had barricaded himself. Quick shots followed. They had found it. [The lives lost in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting] The deadliest attack on Jews in US history would be an armed battle in a sacred space. In the end, 11 people would be killed, mostly elderly members of the three congregations who gather at the synagogue. All in a place dedicated as a refuge from evil, suddenly arises as a trap of evil. The authorities indicted Robert Bowers, 46, during the massacre. "It's a terrible thing to feel," said Chuck Diamond, a former rabbi of the congregation. "When you enter our sanctuary, you want it to be a place where you feel safe." How did the filming of the Pittsburgh Synagogue unfold? It all started with absolute normality. Few faithful were in their place at the beginning of Saturday's services at 9:45. On the Sabbath morning, Tree of Life is a busy place – at least three groups have settled for activities in different parts of the building – but not in a hurry. People spend the morning, says Diamond. The most opportunistic tend to be the very old ones, many of whom have made the service a weekly ritual for decades, exchanging the same greetings with the same faithful, a reassuring ritual in the most comfortable of sanctuaries. E. Joseph Charny, a 90-year-old retired psychiatrist, had just sat down in the second floor chapel, as he has done since 1955. Only six or eight others were already in the huge stained-glass window space. with seats separated by a central aisle. Other faithfuls still hung their coats. Some came from the breakfast of bagels and fruit juices served downstairs each Saturday. Normally, a group of children headed to their weekly Shabbat class, but one of the children had a conflict on Saturday, said Diamond, so the session was postponed until Sunday. According to the online calendar of the synagogue, it was the only Saturday of last month without a gathering of young people. Throughout the neighborhood, the faithful were making decisive decisions without knowing it. Arnold Freedman, a 91-year-old psychologist, chose to stay at home on Saturday after noticing a street commotion about the start of services. Nancy Merenstein, 80, normally goes every week and goes early. On Saturday, her husband was sick and she decided to do without services. But Cecil Rosenthal, a friendly friend of 59 with intellectual disabilities, was self-employed.
Station assigned as a greeter at the door. He was a member since childhood and rarely missed a service. He was the first person that anyone who entered through the door would see. Rosenthal was killed, as was his brother David, 54 years old. The services had just started when Charny heard something like furniture falling from a lower floor. "It looked like a big thing that collapsed like a coat rack," Charny said. It was not unusual to hear an activity in the building. On Saturday morning, two other congregations use the building: New Light, a conservative congregation, meets in the basement, and Dor Hadash, a smaller group, held offices in an office opposite the second-floor chapel. FBI officials later alleged that the gunman had entered through an unlocked low door with three pistols and an AR-15 type semi-automatic assault rifle. When the gunman broke into one of the occupied rooms, he shouted anti-Semitic insults by opening fire, authorities said. What Charny had heard was the chaos of this first attack. And then, said Charny, a man appeared in front of the door of the chapel where he was sitting. The man was silent, he said, but he started shooting. "I looked up and there were all these corpses," Charny said. "I was not in the mood to stay there." He escaped while the shooting continued. Charny is an elderly man, but he attended services in the old building and very modified for more than 60 years. He knew where to go: Up. "The third floor is full of nooks and crannies," said Diamond, a synagogue rabbi for seven years until his departure in 2017. Charny and two other people – a rabbi and his assistant – have entered the maze spaces where Charny stooped into a storage room filled with cardboard boxes. There he waited in silence. "We all knew that leaving too soon would have been our death," said Charny. Police said the gunman would also be heading to the top floor.

SWAT team members responded Saturday to the Tree of Life shootout in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. (Jeff Swensen / Getty Images) The first 911 calls were recorded at 9:54. The first officers arrived in a few minutes and met the gunman at the entrance to the building, apparently while he was trying to flee. "He had finished and he was coming out of the building," Robert Jones, the FBI's special agent in charge of the case, told reporters. If the shooter "had managed to get out of this establishment, there was a good chance that an additional violence occurred". At the door, the gunman opened fire, wounding a policeman in the hand. The other was hit by a burst of shrapnel. The shooter turned inside and went upstairs. Murray, the doctor, was with one of the SWAT units that followed. Other officers broke down the door of the room where the gunman was barricaded. During the fast firing exchange, a third-floor officer was hit several times. The officer, who was not identified, was shot in the arm and leg and wounded in the head, Murray said. A second officer stepped over his fallen comrade, protecting his body as he was shooting with his own gun at the shooter. As the battle raged, other members of the SWAT team took the injured officer down the stairs, where Murray and others began applying tourniquets and gunshots. to administer intravenous solutions. They raised the injured policeman on a litter and took him safely down the stairs. "Through the training, you'll learn to compartmentalize your emotions on one side and your actions on the other," said Murray, who spoke of the events in a calm and sliced ​​sentence Sunday in front of the Mercy Hospital's premises. University of Pittsburgh. The police finally overpowered the gunman after he was injured several times. Bowers was arrested and taken to a hospital. He also told a SWAT operator that he wanted the death of all Jews and that they were committing genocide against his people. Charny does not know exactly how long he has been hiding in the storage space. The isolation added to the terror. But finally, he went out in time to see what Jones, the FBI agent, would have said "the most horrible crime scene I've seen for 22 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation." For Charny, being one of the lucky ones is difficult to proceed. "At first, I felt numb and grateful," he said. His synagogue, his city, his country all struggle in the same way to make sense of the violent hatred that fell on a beautiful Saturday in the autumn. "The emotions are not registered yet," said Murray. "Yesterday, I am covered with the blood of my teammate. Today, I am carving pumpkins with my children. "Hendrix Report from Washington, DC Moriah Balingit, Deanna Paul, Kristine Phillips and Julie Tate contributed to this report.

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