Trump says Pittsburgh shooting appears to be 'anti-Semitic' attack

President TrumpDonald TrumpBiden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' On student loans, Biden doesn't have an answer yet Grill company apologizes after sending meatloaf recipe on same day of rock star's death MORE said Saturday's shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh that left at least 10 people dead and others wounded appeared to be an "anti-Semitic" attack.

“What happened today is a horrible, horrible thing," Trump told reporters after stepping off Air Force One in Indianapolis, Ind., for an event.

“It looks definitely like it’s an anti-Semitic crime. That is something you wouldn’t believe could still be going on," Trump said.

The president spoke hours after police say a gunman opened fire at the Pittsburgh-area Tree of Life synagogue, killing 10 people and wounding multiple others, including several police officers, according to The Associated Press.


Police have not identified the suspect or offered a motive, but media reports have identified him as 46-year-old Robert Bowers. Police say he was taken into custody and transferred to a hospital after being wounded in a gunfight with officers.

"This is one of the most horrific crime scenes I've ever seen," Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich told reporters at an afternoon press conference.

The suspect reportedly made an anti-Semitic remark before opening fire at the synagogue, shouting "all Jews must die" as he entered the building, local CBS affiliate KDKA reported.

The FBI has taken over the investigation into the shooting, which is being treated as a hate crime, officials said.

The Anti-Defamation League, which tracks anti-Semitism in the U.S., said in a statement that the attack was "likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States."

"It is simply unconscionable for Jews to be targeted during worship on a Sabbath morning, and unthinkable that it would happen in the United States of America in this day and age," the group wrote.

Vice President Pence condemned the shooting while speaking at an event in Las Vegas, saying, "There is no place in America for violence or anti-Semitism."

The shooting prompted New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to direct officers to places of worship across New York City on Saturday, which he described as a precaution.

Earlier Saturday, the president told reporters before heading to Indiana that the suspect in the synagogue shooting, whom he described as a "madman," should receive the death penalty.

"We should stiffen up our laws in terms of the death penalty," Trump said. "When people do this they should get the death penalty … they should very much bring the death penalty into vogue."

Trump also suggested that the outcome of the shooting could have been prevented if armed guards were present at the synagogue on Saturday.

“This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside they would have been able to stop him immediately," he said.

When asked if all places of prayer should have guards, Trump said, “I hate to think of it that way … it’s certainly an option, this is a world with a lot of problems."

The shooting came amid heightened tensions this week over a spate of explosive devices mailed to more than a dozen prominent Democratic figures. Federal authorities on Friday arrested and charged a Florida man in connection to that case.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Saturday condemned the violence at the Pittsburgh synagogue, saying in a statement that the Trump administration stood in "solidarity" with the Jewish community.

"Saddened and appalled by the cowardly act of evil committed at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We stand in total solidarity with the victims and all of the Jewish community against bigotry and hate," she tweeted.

Trump was scheduled to attend a rally later Saturday in southern Illinois.

Updated: 4:20 p.m.