‘At least eight dead’ after synagogue shooting in Sheffield’s sister city Pittsburgh

The Tree of Life synagogue, Pittsburgh
The Tree of Life synagogue, Pittsburgh
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At least eight people are dead following an attack on a synagogue in the US city of Pittsburgh, a sister city of Sheffield. 

Multiple casualties have been reported in the attack, on the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, including four police officers. 

Police say the suspect is now in custody, but locals in the Squirrel Hill neighbourhood are being warned to stay indoors. 

A law enforcement official has told AP news agency that the suspect has been identified as Robert Bowers.

US media reports that he is 46-years-old.

The attack happened around 10am local time at a baby naming ceremony and the shooter shouted "all Jews must die", Reuters reports, citing local media.

US President Donald Trump took to social media, saying he is ‘watching the events unfolding in Pittsburgh’, warning residents to ‘beware of the active shooter.’ 

He added: “Events in Pittsburgh are far more devastating than originally thought. Spoke with Mayor and Governor to inform them that the Federal Government has been, and will be, with them all the way.

“I will speak to the media shortly and make further statement at Future Farmers of America.”

Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey has tweeted saying: "Synagogues and places of worship are safe havens where communities come together to celebrate, pray, and reflect. 

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"The horrific events that transpired at Tree of Life Synagogue are heartbreaking. I'm monitoring the situation. My prayers are w/ the victims, their families, and friends.”

Local news are reporting the shooter was carrying an AR-15-style rifle and multiple handguns.

The New York Police Department say they have deployed officers to synagogues throughout the city as a precaution.

Donald Trump then spoke briefly to reporters following the shooting saying incident had nothing to do with current US gun laws.

He said: "If they had protection inside, the results would've been far better.

"This is a dispute that will always exist, I suspect. But if they had defences inside the temple, things could've been different."

On whether churches and synagogues could have armed guards, he said it was "certainly an option".

He later praised the response of the police department, calling it ‘outstanding’ and said those responsible for such attacks should face the death penalty.

He added: "Some people disagree with me, I can't imagine why. This has to stop."

More to follow.