Pittsburgh Rabbi Receives Hate Mail for Saying President Trump Would Be Welcome

Activists hold a banner during a demonstration organized by HIAS outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 14 2017

Activists hold a banner during a demonstration organized by HIAS outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 14 2017

The suspect in a grisly shooting that left 11 people dead at a Pittsburgh synagogue was charged today in a 44-count indictment accusing him of federal hate crimes.

The new charges included 11 counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death, and various charges related to his use of a gun in anti-religious violence.

The Tree of Life Congregation's rabbi said on Thursday he was "pleasantly surprised" by US President Donald Trump's "personal side" when he visited the Pittsburgh synagogue Wednesday following a vicious shooting there over the weekend.

District Attorney Stephen Zappala said in a statement Tuesday that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Justice had taken the lead in investigating the attack.

Six people, including four police officers, were wounded before the suspect was shot by police and surrendered.

During his first court appearance on Monday, Bowers waived his detention hearing and requested a public defender, United States media reported.

Upon conviction, Bowers would face a maximum punishment of either the death penalty or life without parole, plus a consecutive sentence of 535 years in prison.

Bowers remained in custody ahead of a preliminary hearing scheduled for tomorrow.

His appearance in court on Thursday came as funerals for three more victims were planned during the day. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

With signs and chants, the protestors told the president that "dividing people does not make America great;' his visit comes on the heels of announcing he'd be signing an executive order to take away birthright citizenship".

Police officers guard the Tree of Life synagogue following Saturday's shooting in Pittsburgh, Oct. 28, 2018.

The funerals for the victims began Tuesday and are continuing through the rest of the week.

People who knew the men said they were caring.

The day's other funeral was being held for Dr. Richard Gottfried, a dentist who worked part-time at a clinic treating refugees and immigrants. I didn't want the gunman to hear him.

Carrying signs that read "President Hate, Leave Our State!" and "Trump, Renounce White Nationalism Now", the protesters gathered near the Tree of Life synagogue where the carnage unfolded Saturday.

While inside the Jewish house of worship, Bowers allegedly said he wanted to "kill Jews", according to court documents.

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump came to Pittsburgh to pay respects.

They were greeted by Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, who led them inside the temple where they lighted candles for the victims.

Describing Stein as an "avid supporter" of Trump, Pratt said the heated rhetoric of the 2016 election campaign turned a person like him, who is normally a seven out of 10 on the political spectrum, to an 11.

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