Pittsburgh synagogue suspect indicted on 44 counts

Jeffrey Myers head rabbi had been leading worship on Saturday morning when the gunman started firing

Jeffrey Myers head rabbi had been leading worship on Saturday morning when the gunman started firing

The man accused of shooting and killing 11 worshipers at a Pittsburgh synagogue - while allegedly shouting "all Jews must die" - made his first appearance in federal court Monday, after what is believed to be the deadliest attack on American Jews in US history.

The indictment charges Bowers with one count of obstructing the free exercise of religion resulting in death for each of the 11 people he killed.

It was his second brief appearance in a federal courtroom since the weekend massacre at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

United States President Donald Trump arrived in Pittsburgh as funerals began for the victims of last weekend's anti-Semitic shooting at a synagogue in the U.S. city that left 11 dead.

The man accused of the crimes, Robert Bowers, 46, of Baldwin, was wounded at the scene of the shooting and was brought into federal court Monday in a wheelchair. He responded "yes" that he understood the penalties of the charges, and his public defender, Michael J. Novara, entered a plea of not guilty, "as is typical", he said.

Bowers, a truck driver, remained jailed without bail ahead of a preliminary hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Donald Trump visited the synagogue Tuesday, despite calls for him to wait until the victims' had been laid to rest.

Prosecutors have stated they will seek the death penalty against Bowers.

Gottfried, a dentist, had reconnected with his faith following his father's death and at one point became the president of the 70-member congregation in Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

The funerals and the indictment of Bowers came a day after U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visited the synagogue, placing a stone at each of the 11 Stars of David set up outside the synagogue.

There will be additional services Wednesday and Thursday.

Imagine the horrors of this week for Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life synagogue, and then marvel at his graciousness and composure in this CNN interview.

Just minutes before the synagogue attack, the shooter apparently used social media to rage against HIAS, a Jewish organization that resettles refugees under contract with the US government. They locked in place as no one yet knew if the shooting was part of a broader, coordinated attack on Jews.

"I can't imagine the stress he's under", said his predecessor, Rabbi Charles "Chuck" Diamond.

Trump and the first lady intend to travel to Pittsburgh at some point on Tuesday.

The protests and memorial vigils coincided with funerals for victims of Saturday's mass killing, one of the worst acts of anti-Semitic violence in the USA in recent memory.

They buried Jerry Rabinowitz, a doctor who was skilled and compassionate.

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