Gunman slaughters worshippers, suspect in custody

Suspect Robert Bowers allegedly posted hateful threats online.
14:35 | 10/29/18

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Transcript for Gunman slaughters worshippers, suspect in custody
The good morning everyone we begin with the latest on that mass shooting and Pittsburgh this morning the alleged shooter faces. 22 charges 29 charges that is 22 of which make him eligible for the death penalty Matt Gutman has the details on all of that good morning Matt. And we're actually outside the Allegheny general hospital where Robert bowers the shooter he's being treated for multiple gunshot wounds in each secure ward. Somewhere in the hospital behind me conceal those people lining up. It's been go like this for hours they're trying to get into the hospital but. Because of the added security measures it's taking longer for anybody. To try to gain entrance they're metal detectors and added security guards and police inside out. What we Nobel bowers is that in person it was a ghost. And social media he was a demon we met what of his neighbors last night Chris hall a guy who lives right next to him. And he said that bowers lived there for eighteen months added eighteen months he never wants. Opened the blinds that were once open the shades used to wave hello to his neighbors but never spoke to an eighteen months of living in that same apartment. He never once had a guest over and that's what law enforcement is finding also that this man was a cipher. A mystery. He had no criminal history apparently bought his weapons legally at least a four initially according to preliminary investigations from the ATF. He bought those for weapons and use that the tree of life synagogue legally. Is no known family has no real friends to speak of that we've been able to find certainly nobody who's been wheel in a come out and talk about him. And he lived alone. No bumper stickers nothing to hint at these alleged anti Semitic obsession except for his traffic on line and there you see these. Hate filled messages that he posted especially on. What it calls itself be free speech. Web site or social media group called gap where a lot of people. Seemed to vent their hatred towards others others a tremendous amount of xenophobia. On those social media platforms and there. He basically telegraph that he was going to do something horrific saying screw your optics I'm going in. In one of those posts now. Law enforcement is continue to looking at to look at him intensely. He faces 29. Federal charges including for murder. And for hate crimes and attorney general Jeff Sessions says he wants him to face the death penalty. We'll know more about that a little bit later today now an interesting side note about this hospital where we are and the people who have been treating Robert bowers. We're told from the president of the hospital but the first three people who saw him and help save Robert bowers life. They were Jews the president of that Austral that I just spoke about not only Jewish but apparently his family. Went to the tree of lights and well so it's amazing how everything here in this very small town of Pittsburgh is intertwined in interconnected. And still what's incredible to me is that people at this hospital are fulfilling the hippocratic oath. And treating Robert bowers just as they would any other patient even though he is the cause for what the mayor said is that darkest day in experts history. Back to you had quite a bit of irony there Matt Gutman for us from Pittsburgh Matt thanks we also of course are remembering. The eleven people who lost their lives in that massacre thousands gathered for memorial last night it's a mayor called it. The city's quote darkest hour aerial Russia. Has a look at that side of the story aerial. Good morning to you die and we're here at the tree of life synagogue this is where that horrific tragedy occurred and I have to say it is surreal. To juxtapose the memorial that you see over my left hand side. With the crime and mobile teams. The investigators the ambulances that you would see over my right hand side of him and our camera. This is the another example of people being targeted in a house of worship unfortunately we've covered these kinds of stories before but this is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community. In the history of the United States and of course today. This community is honoring and remembering those eleven victims and gonna show you the memorial that set up behind me you can see the Brothers Cecil. And David Rosenthal we've spoken even before we knew there their names before they were made public we spoke with some of their friends and family who told us. They were two men with special needs. Who were so dedicated to the Jewish community and to the community at large. They came into this house of worship every Saturday it was like waking up in the morning part of their morning routine they would hand out the prayer books they would hand out the prayer shawls. And everyone in this community knew them by name by face and everyone greeted them with a smile because they said these two Brothers. We're jovial and happy and appearance of sold and that's what makes this tragedy still very senseless I also want pan over. We have people paying their backs right now but he sees the name. Ambrose now under she was 97 years old holocaust survivor you have the name of this Simons who. Were married sixty years ago inside this very synagogues to you can imagine the trauma. And intense pain that this community is grappling with right now an as is traditional in Jewish locks will now be preparing. For the funerals of these eleven innocent victims ages. 54. 1097. Gunned down senselessly and side of the shield a synagogue behind us. As you mentioned there that vigil last night we had our world news tonight. Live shot location there. We are speaking to David live and I have to tell you it was incredibly powerful of the entire community came out in droves it was. A diverse community it was people of all walks of life of all faiths coming together and as a rabbi beautifully stated. This was not an attack just on the Jewish community this was an attack. On Americans and americans' way of life in America and American way of life to desecrate a holy site like this. If anyone it. Out there can relate to this feeling anyone going to church on Sunday anyone going test synagogue on Saturday. Anyone walking into a mosque can imagine their friends and family in the very same position that vigil was still well attended. That the hall where it was held was overflowing with people they flowed into the hallway is. And then spilled out the doors where we were standing out in the freezing cold rain it was a downpour during our world news tonight hit last night with David. And people were standing there shoulder to shoulder crying singing. Praying it was one of the more powerful and beautiful experiences that I've had as a journalist. You know it it it left a lasting impression on me Diane. That certainly says a lot area we know the the community. If nothing else has shown quite an outpouring of support. We know that the arena where the Pittsburgh Penguins normally play hockey instead of hockey there was a massive blood drive being conducted there people just lighting. Extending. You know so far back. To try to give blood and help the people in any way they can and I know the Steelers also paid tribute to the victims as well. They did Diana I just had to say this they canned the crowd last night you know all of the sports teams and some of the sports celebrities have waited on this and art are also setting their condolences and and expressing solidarity with the community here. In squirrel hill but there was a sign held up by someone in the crowd last night that said hatred can't week in a city of steel. That is the resilience of this community and we talk about this in so many communities that we unfortunately cover when there's this situation a tragedy but in our personal experience being here on the ground in squirrel hill and in the Pittsburgh community. This is one of the warmest places that we have ever been I think David mentioned it last night on world news Howell sometimes we come into these communities and we want to tread very lightly. On their feelings and there's an and that in that time of tragedy and we have been welcome to we have been talked to proactively there been members of the community who want to talk about these beautiful souls. Who lost their lives here. And and that is something that has really left like I set up a lasting impression on us and this is stretched across the globe. Diane we know that that the Eiffel Tower went dark in Paris. In solidarity with what's happened here or it's there in an expression of grief. Across the globe we know that the Tel Aviv municipal building. Slash or with the glow with the American flag this has affected though the global community. Jewish organizations have sent a lot of their representatives here. Two Pittsburgh. And and we know also interfaith leaders have also expressed their solidarity as well Diane Smith is not just a tragedy that hits home for the Jewish community hits home. For everybody it does indeed an in the wake of all this division we are seeing a show of solidarity. In the wake of all this scenario Russia great reporting we appreciate it thank you. And now let's get some analysis on the shooting for that we go to Jon Cohen the former acting undersecretary at the Department of Homeland Security. John you know it's hard to ignore the fact that this mass shooting comes just days. After these is suspicious packages were sent through the mail to several targets. Is there anything that we should be reading into about the fact that these two events happen so close together. Jack me absolutely. These two incidents see these two circumstances. Are stark illustration. The deep threat that now faces this country it's a threat that really is a convergence of two trends. One for the last five years we've seen a steady increase in mass casually attacks. Targeted houses of worship schools. Movie theaters. Other locations that are open to the public eight disaffected. Violence prone individuals. Who have behavioral or mental health issues. Whose self connects with some ideologically. Ideological cause primarily. Through they're there are consuming a material on the Internet or through social media. It then use that ideological or political cause of the justification to commit mass murder or some other violent act. What we are also seeing however it out is that the increasing hostile nature. Our political discourse. And and and the demonization of political opponents still calling them evil corrupt enemies of the country. It had in many cases that. Rhetoric which is also being able I don't social media is inspiring he seemed disaffected people. Much like the video device as well Qaeda. Or other extremist groups so law enforcement very concerned that there's so much material that's out there that's impacting the vulnerable part of our population. These people were very much like. That which was described earlier by Matt on on the Pittsburgh shooter. That work honesty more of these types of attacks. So John what do you do to me we live in a country that still highly values free speech and for so many good reasons. And yet a rare hearing that in a divisive speech in many ways is inciting this kind of attack a sense true then what do you do about it. Well he you first have to recognize the problem and I think one of the challenges we're facing right now at their. This is that notwithstanding. Lot of work that's been done by the FBI and others in law enforcement to understand these attacked. And to develop strategies for preventing these attacks they're really just has not been a national priority for a stability consistent level of capability across the country. There are some jurisdictions that have worked. To educate the public about the warning signs boast both those that may be. Exhibited. In the physical world and those that may be exhibited on social media the Internet. And they've worked to improve their ability. To assess the risks posed by individuals like some to their attention and energy. Just last several weeks back high school. In the DC suburbs. Averted a school shooting because students saw disturbing posts on in Japan. They contact the school resource officer the police department. Assess the risks posed by the individual found hit acquire weapons. Bob believe she was getting ready to conduct an attack. And they really take steps to stop that so we know what we can need to do in order to stop these attacks. But unfortunately at the law enforcement person it's incredibly frustrating that there really has not been the political will in this country to confront this threat. So what do you do let me from a political standpoint then what's the argument that and that you think needs to be made in order to get them to take action. He a strong message needs to be sent to people who are in government. We're in elected and to government or or running process. They are words while they me energize their political base. May also be inspiring. The next about casually attacker. People should be pup should be passionate passionate. In expressing their political views part of what makes this country great is that healthy discourse. I that occurs as part of our political process but unfortunately we are living in a time when. The language that's used. Oh hello again effective politically may also. They me officer to inspire. Those disaffected. Violence prone individuals who are the populations are the subset of our population that are conducting these attacks. Well we certainly have a lot of work to do Jon Cohen former acting undersecretary of the Department of Homeland Security we appreciate it John thanks. And and one last note on the shooting you heard Arial I'm talking about that blood drive we actually have our affiliate. Reporter Bob Mayo was there outside the Pittsburgh Penguins arena as that was going on we just want to give you quick look at that. Diane we're here inside Pittsburgh's PPG pains arena. You concede that the blood drive is under way this is happening here at the home of the Pittsburgh Penguins the five time Stanley Cup champs. They offered this facility to facilitate this donation if they're calling this the stronger than hate blood drive in response to be. Massive shootings at the synagogue. This donation process can take typically an hour because of the turnout here it's taking longer than that folks have to fill out a medical question near here on line. They are then back in this private area screened medically confirmed that there in no shape to be able to donate blood. Over here we have folks who aren't waiting they've already gone through that process. And they will from here go into this area to actually donate blood penguins making this area available. As a result of the strong turnout that they had over the weekend they had so many people donating blood over the weekend they had to turn them away. This will be continuing through the day die.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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