The Latest: Funeral held for couple slain in synagogue

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Latest on the aftermath of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre (all times local):

4:15 p.m.

The son of a couple killed in the Pittsburgh synagogue attack says his parents were a “beacon of light” whose example can help “eliminate the hate that led to their untimely deaths.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that hundreds of mourners attended the funeral for Sylvan and Bernice Simon on Thursday.

They were among the 11 victims of the weekend attack at Tree of Life synagogue.

The Simons were married at Tree of Life 62 years ago.

Marc Simon, says “our lives were shattered” when his parents were “senselessly, brutally and savagely murdered.”

Family members recalled the Simons as warm and welcoming and dedicated to their faith and each other.

The suspect in the slayings has pleaded not guilty.


3:45 p.m.

Emergency operators who were on duty Saturday morning in Pittsburgh are describing how they could hear gunshots and screaming as the synagogue rampage unfolded.

The operators spoke to media outlets Thursday.

Bruce Carlton took the initial 911 call from Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers. Carlton says he wanted to keep Myers on the phone without revealing his position to the gunman.

Carlton tells KDKA-TV that he didn’t want Myers to speak, and he tried not to either. He says the call was “surreal, like it wasn’t happening.”

Once it was over and Myers had come through physically unscathed, Carlton says he was left shaking.

The suspect, Robert Bowers, is charged with killing 11 and wounding six in the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history.


10:05 a.m.

The anti-Semitic truck driver accused of gunning down 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that could put him on death row.

Robert Bowers was arraigned Thursday, one day after a grand jury issued a 44-count indictment that charges him with murder, hate crimes, obstructing the practice of religion and other crimes.

It was his second brief appearance in a federal courtroom since the weekend massacre at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

Authorities say the 46-year-old Bowers raged against Jews during and after the rampage. It was the deadliest attack on Jews in American history.

Funerals for the victims are being held all week.


1:22 a.m.

The suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre is expected to make a brief appearance in federal court Thursday to be arraigned on a 44-count indictment.

The charges against Robert Bowers include murder, hate crimes and obstructing in the practice of religion. He is also charged with injuring four police officers, some during a gunfight before his arrest.

Bowers had been set for a preliminary hearing on the evidence Thursday, but federal prosecutors instead took the case to a grand jury. The panel issued the 44-count indictment Wednesday as funerals continued for the 11 people gunned down Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue.

Funerals were planned Thursday for Bernice and Sylvan Simon, husband and wife, and Dr. Richard Gottfried, a dentist who worked part-time at a clinic treating refugees and immigrants.

Categories: National News