ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — A gunman shot and killed 11 people during a ceremony at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.
- Robert Bowers charged in attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue
- 11 people killed and six wounded, including four officers
- Bowers made anti-Jewish comments during shooting, officials say
- GoFundMe Page for families of Tree of Life victims
- SEE BELOW: The names of the 11 victims ▼
The suspect, 46-year-old Robert Bowers, opened fire during a baby naming ceremony at the Tree of Life synagogue.
At least six others were wounded in attack, including four police officers who responded to the scene, authorities said.
Bowers, who later surrendered to law enforcement, expressed hatred of Jews during the rampage and told officers afterward that Jews were committing genocide and he wanted them all to die, according to charging documents made public Sunday.
"I just want to kill Jews," Bowers told an officer, according to one of the documents.
The victims included a pair of brothers, Cecil and David Rosenthal, and a husband and wife, Bernice and Sylvan Simon. The youngest victim was 54-year-old David Rosenthal and the oldest was 97-year-old Rose Mallinger.
The other victims included Joyce Fienberg, Richard Gottfried, Jerry Rabinowitz, Daniel Stein, Melvin Wax, and Irving Younger.
At the time of the shooting, three different congregations were holding services at the Tree of Life synagogue, according officials.
Bowers, who was shot several times after trading gunfire with police, was taken to a hospital.
The FBI is investigating the shooting as a hate crime.
“The action of Robert Bowers represents the worst of humanity. We are dedicating the entire resources of my office to this federal hate crime investigation and prosecution and we expect to file charges shortly,” said U.S. Attorney Scott Brady.
Late Sunday, Brady announced that federal prosecutors were seeking to pursue the death penalty against Bowers, who is set to appear in court Monday afternoon.
The Jewish community in Florida is also feeling the loss and pain inflicted on Pittsburgh.
Stacy Gerstenblitt, the co-president of the Southwest Orlando Jewish Congregation said its Congregation is sending its thoughts and prayers to the families affected in Pittsburgh.
“To do the unthinkable in a place people are going to pray for peace, especially on the Shabbat, I guess it just indescribable really,”said Gerstenblitt. “It’s just a scary thought for anybody any group to be worshiping and now have to worry that somebody might come in, who has a horrible agenda,” Gerstenblitt added.
Safety is always a concern, especially after the tragic event in Pittsburgh.
“Congregations in the area and in the country I think are going to reevaluate our security measures, and make sure everyone in our congregation is safe,” said Gerstenblitt.
Governor Rick Scott has already ordered more patrols at places of worship in Florida as a precaution. He tweeted that Florida Highway Patrol will be out monitoring those locations.
Scott also released a statement saying, "There is no place in America for intolerance and violence, and we will do everything in our power to protect Floridians who are peacefully gathered to worship."
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman also reacted on twitter saying, "This nation really needs less hate and less guns, ASAP."
Kriseman has family that lives blocks away from the synagogue in Pittsburgh that was attacked.
"I think all we can really do is get the word out that the hatred, the vitriol, it's just got to end in the country. We have to be able to disagree and do so in a way that's peaceful," Kriseman told Spectrum News. "Bigotry and hate must stop and we all need to continue to come together and be better," he added.
When the gunman opened fire inside the Tree Life Synagogue, members of the Jewish community all over the eastern United States were in worship at their local synagogue. Many likely found out about the attack as they were still inside.
Spectrum News reporters Jorja Roman and Matt Fernandez contributed to this report.