Pittsburgh rabbi: Congregants' screams 'seared in my brain'

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers of the Tree of Life synagogue said he quickly tried to evacuate some people who were toward the front of the sanctuary.
4:30 | 10/29/18

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Transcript for Pittsburgh rabbi: Congregants' screams 'seared in my brain'
And we are back from Pittsburgh, where we spent much of the weekend, the people in that community had a profound impact on us. Their grief, their tolerance and their strength, even as that community learns tonight what really happened inside the tree of life synagogue. The horror that played out there. Tonight, you will hear from the first responders who raced in to save lives, and the rabbi who tells us this evening, he was in the front of that sanctuary. He could only help those in the first few rows. These are just some of the faces of the 11 worshippers whose lives were cut short. Two brothers, a dentist, a retired accountant. A youth baseball coach. There were others, among them, the husband and wife, the woman who was 97 years old. And now, we learned there were supposed to be so many children in that synagogue, but they has postponed their class until the next day. ABC's chief national correspondent Matt Gutman leads us off from Pittsburgh. Reporter: Police and S.W.A.T. Teams were already responding when Dr. Keith Murray got the text -- active shooter, officer shot, multiple dead. Dr. Murray said good-bye to his family and ran out the door. You read that and your veins just go cold with ice. I made sure I kissed all three of them good-bye, told them I loved them, because you never know what's going to happen. Reporter: While the doctor was racing to the tree of life sin nothing, rabbi Jeffrey Myers was hiding from a killer. Moments earlier, he had heard the gunshots. Something just innately told me that's a semi-automatic weapon. I immediately announced to my congregation, "Drop to the floor. Do not move. Don't utter a sound. Be still!" Reporter: The gunman, who police have named as Robert bowers, was heading for the sanctuary. The rabbi trying to protect his flock. The people who were towards the front of the sanctuary, I quickly tried to evacuate them up. Regretfully, there was no way for me to get back to the remaining eight people that were in the back of the sanctuary. One of them was wounded. The remainining seven people were slaughtered in my sanctuary. Reporter: He stayed on to act as the eyes and ears for 911 dispatchers. I was hearing people screaming M and it's seared in my brain. I heard one woman, I think I know who it was, "My hus's been shot," screaming. And that was quickly and afterwards she was silenced. I know who it was. It was my con agree gant. Reporter: Is that the couple who was killed? Yes. Reporter: Sylvan and Bernice Simon. They were married in the same synagogue where they died. Minutes later, more S.W.A.T. Teams on the scene. Dr. Murray right there with him. Within, you know, 20, 30 seconds of making entry, we actually found this elderly couple who was just hiding in one of the antechambers. One of my medics found another woman leaning over the deceased and she was very much alive. I just think she was in so much shock, she didn't realize she was shot, and I think she just didn't want to leave her friend. Shots fired. Multiple shots fired. Reporter: The shooter blasting at S.W.A.T. Officers. One police officer riddled with bullets. Dr. Murray treating him on the floor before. Someone took his helmet off and they carried him down the stairs. In between him getting shot and him getting handed off to us, 20 seconds. It was amazing. Reporter: Finally the suspect surrendered. Suspect's talking about all these Jews need to die. Reporter: The rabbi later hiding in the bathroom, on the phone with 911 the whole time. Finally led to safety by the S.W.A.T. Team. How grateful were you to see them come in. Immensely. I really thought I was dead. I was going -- I was going to hang up my cell phone and make a video for my wife in hopes that maybe they'd find the cell phone. Rabbi Myers deserves so much credit for helping as many people as he could. And Matt Gutman is from Pittsburgh again. Matt, the suspect was wheeled into court today and I know you were right there in the courtroom? Reporter: That's right, David. He was brought in in a wheelchair. He'd been shot multiple times but the hospital released him for this court date. But what is perhaps most chilling about the man suspected of killing the atrocity in that synagogue behind me is that he seemed to Normal in court, chatting with his attorneys, compliant with the bailiffs and undisturbed with the 11 murder charges he faces. David? Matt, thank you. Robert bowers is now charged with 29 federal crimes.

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

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