Man with ties to Pittsburgh shooting suspect arrested

Man with ties to Pittsburgh shooting suspect arrested
© UPI Photo

A man with ties to Pittsburgh shooting suspect Robert Bowers was arrested this week after family members told authorities he was having outbursts in which he said Bowers' victims "deserved it." 

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Jeffrey Clark, a Washington, D.C. resident, made a court appearance on Tuesday after being charged with one count in the District of Columbia of possessing high-capacity magazines and one federal count of unlawful possession of firearms by a person who is an unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance, CBS News reported.

CBS News reported that Washington, D.C. resident Jeffrey Clark was allegedly "friends" with Bowers, according to family members who spoke with authorities. 

Bowers was arrested and charged with killing 11 congregants in a Pittsburgh synagogue last month. The shooting was the deadliest attack on Jewish people in U.S. history. 

After the Pittsburgh shooting, Clark posted a picture of Bowers on the social media platform Gab with the caption, "This was a dry run for things to come," according to authorities.

Clark's family members told investigators that he has been defending Bowers and expressing a desire to murder Jewish and black people, according to CBS. They said Clark and his younger brother, Edward, were members of the "alt-right" who owned guns in part because they feared a racial civil war was imminent. 

Edward Clark killed himself earlier this month, according to CBS. 

Jeffrey Clark is being held without bond in Washington, D.C.

Clark and his brother have been involved in the "alt right" movement for several years, attending white nationalist and anti-immigrant rallies on more than one occasion, according to Huffington Post.
 
An April 2017 video shows Clark at a White House rally organized by Richard Spencer, one of the nation's most prominent white nationalists and racial extremists in the country. Spencer led a group of marchers at the infamous 2017 demonstration, where young men changed "Jews will not replace us" as they walked through the University of Virginia's campus.

U.S. Attorney Scott Brady in a statement said there is no evidence Clark had knowledge about the synagogue attack ahead of time. 

"The United States Attorney's Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Pittsburgh want to assure the victims and the victims' families of the Tree of Life Synagogue attack that their safety is of paramount concern and that law enforcement continues to devote all available resources to the investigation and prosecution of this case," Brady said, CBS reported.