(CNN) — A primary care physician loved by his community. Two devoted and welcoming brothers. A “vibrant” 97-year-old with “a lot of years left.”
All were among the 11 people whose lives abruptly ended on Saturday when a gunman stormed the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh’s historic Squirrel Hill neighborhood.
On Sunday, Karl Williams, Allegheny County’s chief medical examiner, released the victims’ identities in a news conference.
“To the victims’ families, to the victims’ friends, we’re here as a community of one for you,” said Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto. “We will be here to help you through this horrific episode. We’ll get through this darkest day of Pittsburgh’s history by working together.”
Here are the victims of the Pittsburgh shooting:
Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, came from Edgewood Borough, Pennsylvania, and was a primary care physician in the area for many years, some of his patients told CNN.
His nephew, Avishai Ostrin, shared a photo on Facebook of his uncle, who he said always wore a bowtie that “made people smile” and “made his patients more at ease.”
“You know how they say there are people who just lighten up a room? You know that cliche about people whose laugh is infectious? That was Uncle Jerry,” he wrote. “It wasn’t a cliche. It was just his personality.”
Ostrin said if there was a message his uncle would want everyone to take from the tragedy, “it would be a message of love, unity, and of the strength and resilience of the Jewish people.”
Susan Blackman knew Rabinowitz for at least 35 years, she told CNN. He was her family doctor and cared for her three children. She went to see Rabinowitz every quarter.
“He was like a member of the family, and a member of the extended family,” she said. “Like somebody you know that’s always part of your community. … Dr. Jerry was just somebody who, when you see him, your eyes light up.”
“I can’t imagine the world without him,” she said.
Brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal
Cecil and David Rosenthal, 59 and 54, were from Squirrel Hill.
According to their obituaries posted by the Ralph Schugar Chapel, Cecil was a devoted Tree of Life congregant. David worked for Goodwill Industries, and was a hard worker who was recognized for his commitment a number of times.
ACHIEVA, a Pittsburgh nonprofit that provides support for people with disabilities, posted a statement about the Rosenthal brothers, calling them “two well-respected members of our community’ and “extraordinary men.”
“Cecil’s laugh was infectious. David was so kind and had such a gentle spirit. Together, they looked out for one another,” said Chris Schopf, a vice president for residential support at ACHIEVA. “They were inseparable. Most of all, they were kind, good people with a strong faith and respect for everyone around.”
The brothers always sat in the back of the temple and greeted people as they came in to worship, according to Suzan Hauptman, who told CNN she grew up at Tree of Life synagogue.
“They were like the ambassadors because they were always there,” she said. “And they will always be there in our hearts.”
Laura Berman, the cantor of Temple Sinai, said Cecil was a “beautiful man” and a “sweet, gentle soul.”
“The kindest soul you would ever meet,” she said. “A smiling face. He was one of those embodiments of the community. Just open, warm, smiling, wanting to help and just in his beautiful simplicity. That’s who he was.”
Rose Mallinger, a 97-year-old from Squirrel Hill, was the “sweetest, lovely lady,” said Robin Friedman, who told CNN that Mallinger was a secretary in her school’s office growing up.
Mallinger regularly attended the synagogue with her daughter, Friedman said, and likely knew everyone there. She always offered a friendly greeting, a hug and a smile.
Despite her age, Mallinger was “spry” and “vibrant,” Friedman said.
“She had a lot of years left.”
Elisa Schwartz, a family member, remembered Mallinger — her grandmother’s cousin — in a tribute on her Facebook page, calling the 97-year-old “one of the matriarchs of the family.”
Schwartz encouraged people to donate blood to help survivors.
Bernice and Sylvan Simon
The Simons, a married couple from Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, were “kind, generous and good-hearted individuals,” according to their neighbor, Jo Stepaniak.
She lived next to 84-year-old Bernice and 86-year-old Sylvan for nearly 40 years, she said, and they were the “sweetest people you could imagine.
“They wanted to give back to people and be kind,” Stepaniak said, adding that the Simons always tried to help out in their small neighborhood and in the Jewish community.
“They were loving and giving and kind,” she said, “gracious and dignified.”
Daniel Stein, 71, was loved by everyone, his nephew said.
“He was a great guy,” Halle said. “He was a fun guy, he had a dry sense of humor and everybody loved him.”
Halle said he and his family were shocked by his uncle’s sudden death at the synagogue, where Stein went every Saturday.
The Squirrel Hill resident was retired, his nephew told CNN affiliate WPXI.
In a post on Facebook, Stein’s son wrote that Saturday was “the worst day of my life.”
“My mom, sister and I are absolutely devastated and crushed!” Joe Stein wrote on his Facebook page. “Our lives now are going to have to take a different path, one that we thought would not happen for a long time.”
Joe Stein said his father was a “simple man” who “did not require much.”
Joyce Fienberg, 75, of Oakland neighborhood, Pittsburgh
Joyce Fienberg, 75, was a former research specialist at the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh, the center said on its Facebook page, calling her a “cherished friend” and “an engaging, elegant, and warm person.”
Fienberg’s husband Stephen, an acclaimed statistician, passed away two years ago after battling cancer, according to Carnegie Mellon University, where he taught for 36 years.
Jason Connor, one of Stephen’s former Ph.D. students, told CNN the Fienbergs treated Stephen’s students like family. Joyce Fienberg would welcome the students into their lives and would continue to send them cards long after they’d left Carnegie Mellon, Connor said.
She was also a grandmother, and has two sons, Connor told CNN.
“Everyone says this, but she really was an enormously caring person,” Connor said. “She was a very petite woman but lit up a room with her huge personality. We weren’t just welcome in the classroom, but into their home.”
Fienberg grew up at the Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto, the temple said on its Facebook page. She and Stephen were married at the temple, where her confirmation class photo still hangs on the wall.
Richard Gottfried, 65, of Ross Township, Pennsylvania, opened a dental practice together with his wife, Peg Durachko, in 1984, according to the practice’s website.
In 1996, the couple joined the local Discovery Study Club, a local group that’s part of an international organization of dentists and specialists who offer educational lectures and workshops to encourage excellence in dentistry, the site said.
Gottfried, who was Jewish, and Durachko, who is Catholic, helped prepare other couples for marriage through the St. Athanasius church.
Patrick Mannarino, the North Hills School District superintendent, sent out a note to the district that said Gottfried had been the district’s dentist for a long time. He and his wife were “a fixture in the lives of those in our community,” Mannarino said.
“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy,” he added, “and our thoughts and condolences go out to all of those affected including Dr. Durachko and her loved ones.”
The other victims were identified as:
• Melvin Wax, 88, of Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh
• Irving Younger, 69, of Pittsburgh’s Mount Washington neighborhood
Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers due in court:
The man accused of killing 11 worshippers in a Pittsburgh synagogue is expected to appear in a federal court Monday.
Robert Bowers faces 29 federal charges, some of which are punishable by death. Included among them are 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder and multiple counts of two hate crimes: obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death and obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer.
The 46-year-old resident of Baldwin, Pennyslvania, allegedly opened fire at Tree of Life synagogue during Shabbat services Saturday morning.
The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office said late Sunday that all 11 victims died from rifle wounds with several suffering head wounds.
Bowers was taken into custody after a shootout with police. He is being treated in a hospital for gunshot wounds.
He is scheduled to make his first court appearance at the Joseph F. Weis, Jr. US Courthouse in Pittsburgh at 1:30 p.m. ET Monday.
US Attorney seeks death penalty
The US attorney in Pittsburgh, Scott Brady, is seeking approval from Attorney General Jeff Sessions to seek the death penalty against Bowers, according to a Justice Department spokesman.
When asked if the shooting could be considered an instance of domestic terrorism, US Attorney Brady said there would need to be evidence the suspect tried to propagate a particular ideology through violence.
“We continue to see where that line is. But for now, at this point in our investigation, we’re treating it as a hate crime,” Brady said.
Bowers has also been charged with 11 state offenses, including attempted homicide and aggravated assault.
A trail of hate leads to suspect
Sunday’s vigil, the second since the Saturday morning shooting, came as a fuller picture began to emerge of the suspect.
“They’re committing genocide to my people,” Bowers told police during the shootout, according to an FBI affidavit. “I just want to kill Jews.”
Investigators searched Bowers’ home with a robot on Saturday and searched his vehicle on Sunday, the FBI said. They’re looking for surveillance footage from the area that could provide clues.
For weeks before the shooting, Bowers targeted Jews in frequent posts on Gab, a social media platform that bills itself as “the free speech social network.” He used anti-Semitic slurs, complained that President Donald Trump was surrounded by too many Jewish people and blamed Jews for helping migrant caravans in Central America.
He also posted pictures of his handgun collection. Bowers has 21 guns registered to his name, said Rep. Mike Doyle, whose district includes Squirrel Hill.
Four hours before the shooting, Bowers posted about Trump. Minutes before storming inside the building, he logged onto Gab again and wrote to his followers.
“I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered,” he wrote. “Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
Gab denied supporting violence and said its mission is “to defend free expression and individual liberty online for all people.” Gab said it has backed up the suspect’s profile data, suspended the account and contacted the FBI.
Shootout ends in surrender
Squirrel Hill residents heard screams and gunshots coming from the synagogue. In minutes, police officers in tactical gear arrived and urged them to stay indoors.
Police said they received 911 calls about an active shooter around 10 a.m., five minutes after Bowers made his last social media post. When officers entered the building, they found the victims’ bodies and survivors hiding. They rescued at least two people from the basement and scrambled to evacuate people as they looked for the gunman.
Two officers encountered the gunman as he was attempting to leave the building, according to a criminal complaint. The gunman fired at them, shooting one officer in the hand before fleeing back inside the synagogue. The other officer suffered several cuts to his face from shrapnel and broken glass.
SWAT officers found Bowers on the third floor of the building and exchanged gunfire with him until he surrendered, authorities said. Two SWAT officers were injured in the gunfight, along with Bowers.
Bowers used a Colt AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 handguns during the attack, police said. Bowers legally purchased the three Glock .357s, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told CNN. It’s not clear whether the AR-15 was purchased legally.
In addition to those four guns, investigators recovered a shotgun in the alleged shooter’s car that was not used in the shooting, Doyle said, referencing information he learned from law enforcement briefings.
Jewish organizations said the violence at Tree of Life synagogue underscored the dangers of unchecked hatred in a time when anti-Semitic acts are on the rise.
In 2017, anti-Semitic incidents in the United States surged nearly 60%, according to the Anti-Defamation League. It found 1,986 cases of harassment, vandalism or physical assault against Jews and Jewish institutions last year. The ADL said Saturday’s shooting is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in US history.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum said the shooting is a reminder of “all the dangers of unchecked hatred and anti-Semitism, which must be confronted wherever they appear.”
The shooting drew sympathy from the Israeli government and its people. Mourners staged makeshift memorials in Jerusalem’s Zion Square and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on the phone with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf on Sunday to express his condolences. Israeli Diaspora Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett traveled to Pittsburgh for Sunday’s service.
“Nearly 80 years since Kristallnacht, when the Jews of Europe perished in the flames of their houses of worship, one thing is clear: Anti-Semitism, Jew-hating, is not a distant memory,” Bennett said. “It’s not a thing of the past, nor a chapter in the history books. It is a very real threat.”
Adam Hertzman, director of marketing for the Jewish Federation of Pittsburgh, said it was too early to say if the community will add permanent security to synagogues in the area.
“Our focus at the moment is on mourning those who have passed and trying to comfort the people who are bereaved,” Hertzman said.
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