Governor Kenneth Mapp has condemned the attack on worshipers at The Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that took place over the weekend, Government House has announced.
The governor said his administration joins communities across the United States in mourning the loss of life, and offered prayers of support to the families and friends of the victims.
Armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and at least three handguns, a man, identified as Robert D. Bowers, shouting anti-Semitic slurs opened fire inside a Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday morning, killing at least 11 congregants and wounding four police officers and two others, the authorities said.
According to the New York Times, in a rampage described as among the deadliest against the Jewish community in the United States, the assailant stormed into the Tree of Life Congregation, where worshipers had gathered in separate rooms to celebrate their faith, and shot indiscriminately into the crowd, shattering what had otherwise been a peaceful morning.
“We are outraged by this senseless act of violence and must work collectively as a nation to weed out hate, terrorism, anti-Semitism and racism across our communities,” said the governor, who offered special words and a letter of support to the local Jewish community in the Virgin Islands.
“These guardians of the faith will not be forgotten now their names are tragically known by so many. Indeed, the personal strengths of the those targeted rise far above the cowardice of the perpetrator of this heinous act,” Mr. Mapp wrote in a letter to Rabbi Michael Feshbach of The Hebrew Congregation of St. Thomas.
The governor also offered his sympathies to the first responders injured in the violent attack.