Pittsburgh citizens in pain amid synagogue shooting

A gunman with an assault rifle and multiple handguns stormed the synagogue and opened fire.
4:37 | 10/29/18

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Transcript for Pittsburgh citizens in pain amid synagogue shooting
And good evening from Pittsburgh. And on this Sunday night, this city is in pain. The whole country reaching out to Pittsburgh after the massacre at the tree of life synagogue behind me. Services were under way yesterday morning just before a baby naming ceremony when a gunman stormed in, taking 11 lives. Police say he told them all he wanted to do was to kill Jews. The calls for help went out just before 10:00 A.M., saying the synagogue was under attack. The officers arrived quickly, running, as they so often do, right into the gunfire. Outside, the neighborhood on lockdown. Officers rushing people away from the danger. Inside, innocent members of this community were being gunned down. Among the dead, a husband, wife, two brothers, a new grandfather, and a 97-year-old woman. The gunman was shot, but survived. And he could now face the death penalty. The mayor calling this the darkest day of Pittsburgh's history. And tonight, a vigil across town, where somebody told me, this is not Pittsburgh. They are united tonight, and not win. Matt Gutman leads us off tonight with what played out. The 20 minutes of terror inside this synagogue. Reporter: S.W.A.T. Teams descending on the tree-lined streets of squirrel hill. The peace of a sleepy weekend morning, shattered. The first 911 calls coming in at 9:54 A.M. People inside the tree of life synagogue, frantic. They were under attack. At least one caller sounded like they may have been shot. Reporter: Members of three congregations inside. A baby naming ceremony, about to get under way. Now, a gunman had entered the house of worship. As soon as he came into the lobby, he opened fire. Reporter: According to the FBI, the alleged gunman, 46-year-old Robert bowers, hurling words of hate against Jews even as he murdered them. When the first two police officers encountered bowers, they say he was wielding an ar-15 rifle. As we approached the front of the synagogue he was firing at us and pinned us down with gunfire. Reporter: The officers, wounded, and the gunman then retreating farther into the synagogue. A S.W.A.T. Team enters, discovering a scene of unimaginable horror. 11 people, 3 women and 8 men, dead. As medics rush to evacuate the wounded, officers climb to the third floor, where bowers had fled. Contact. Contact. Shots fired, shots fired. Give me additional resources. Additional resources, third floor. We got a guy barricaded and actively shooting. Reporter: What came next, an all-out gun battle. Bowers is shot and surrenders. Suspect is talking about "All these Jews need to die." We're still communicating with him. Reporter: The police say he was ranting, "They're committing genocide to my people. I just want to kill Jews." A short time ago we were dispatched to active gunfire at the tree of life synagogue in squirrel hill. Do not come out of your home right now. It is not safe. Reporter: In the neighborhood, fear and disbelief. My father-in-law was inside. I got married in this place. This is crazy. This unbelievable. People have to stop the hate. Reporter: This couple lives across from the synagogue. As the chaos unfolded, police knocked on their door. Positioning a sniper in their bedroom window, a couple hearing a barrage of gunfire. It was a war zone. Reporter: As the couple watched, they could see survivors straggling out. It was so sad. They were so old, they couldn't go fast. And the police were urging them, hurry, hurry. Reporter: Authorities said in addition to the ar-15, bowers had three handguns with him and used all of them. It's a very horrific crime scene. It's one of the worst that I've seen. Reporter: Matt, you spoke with a rabbi that was inside the synagogue when the gunfire erupted? Reporter: Yes, he dialed 911, serving as first responders' eyes and ears. He said what he saw was indescribable. When I asked him about whether he had any psychological counseling himself, he said he didn't have time, he had too many funerals to plan. David? That's the reality for so many people on the ground here.

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

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