Names released of all 11 victims of Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

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Sunday, October 28, 2018
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Names released of all 11 victims of synagogue shooting. Watch the report from ABC News' Maggie Rulli on October 28, 2018.

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania -- Officials released the names of all 11 victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting during a news conference Sunday, all of them middle-aged or elderly.

-Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland, City of Pittsburgh

-Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township

-Rose Mallinger, 97, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

-Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, of Edgewood Borough

-Cecil Rosenthal, 59, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

-David Rosenthal, 54, (brother of Cecil), of Squirrel Hill

-Bernice Simon, 84, of Wilkinsburg

-Sylvan Simon, 86, (husband of Bernice), of Wilkinsburg

-Daniel Stein, 71, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

-Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill, City of Pittsburgh

-Irving Younger, 69, of Mt. Washington, City of Pittsburgh

The victims included a married couple, Bernice and Sylvan Simon, and two brothers, Cecil and David Rosenthal.

The Allegheny County medical examiners' office released the victims' names Sunday.

Fellow members of the New Light Congregation say Melvin Wax was a pillar of the congregation, filling many roles there. Friend Myron Snider says Wax was a retired accountant who was unfailingly generous.

Wax was in his late 80s.

Fellow members of the congregation, which rented space in the lower level of the Tree of Life Synagogue, says Wax was a kind man and a pillar of the congregation, filling just about every role except cantor.

Myron Snider spoke late Saturday about his friend who would stay late to tell jokes with him. He said "Mel," a retired accountant, was unfailingly generous.

"He was such a kind, kind person," said Snider, chairman of the congregation's cemetery committee. "When my daughters were younger, they would go to him, and he would help them with their federal income tax every year. Never charged them."

Authorities say gunman Robert Bowers made statements about genocide and killing Jewish people. Bowers is being treated for gunshot wounds and is due in court Monday.

Bowers killed eight men and three women inside the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday during worship services before a tactical police team tracked him down and shot him, police said in an affidavit, which contained some unreported details on the shooting and the police response.

Mayor Bill Peduto called it the "darkest day of Pittsburgh's history."

The nation's latest mass shooting drew condemnation and expressions of sympathy from politicians and religious leaders of all stripes. With the midterm election just over a week away, it also reignited a longstanding and bitter debate over guns.

Pope Francis led prayers for Pittsburgh on Sunday in St. Peter's Square.

"In reality, all of us are wounded by this inhuman act of violence," he said. He prayed for God "to help us to extinguish the flames of hatred that develop in our societies, reinforcing the sense of humanity, respect for life and civil and moral values."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman quoted Merkel on Twitter as offering her condolences and saying that "all of us must confront anti-Semitism with determination - everywhere."

German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier wrote in a condolence message to President Donald Trump that "this abhorrent crime reminds us all to do what is in our power to advocate against hatred and violence, against anti-Semitism and exclusion, and to counter with determination those who incite them."

Trump on Saturday said the outcome might have been different if the synagogue "had some kind of protection" from an armed guard, while Pennsylvania's Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, up for re-election, noted that once again "dangerous weapons are putting our citizens in harm's way."

Calling the shooting an "evil anti-Semitic attack," Trump ordered flags at federal buildings throughout the U.S. to be flown at half-staff in respect for the victims. He said he planned to travel to Pittsburgh, but offered no details.

In the city, thousands gathered for a vigil Saturday night. Some blamed the slaughter on the nation's political climate.

"When you spew hate speech, people act on it. Very simple. And this is the result. A lot of people dead. Senselessly," said Stephen Cohen, co-president of New Light Congregation, which rents space at Tree of Life.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this post.


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