NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Local law enforcement is on high alert following a mass shooting in Pennsylvania Saturday morning while people of all faiths unite to show support across the Tri-State area.
A total of 11 people were killed and a number of others, including police officers, were injured after a shooting at The Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh.READ MORE: Vaccine Mandate For NYC Teachers, Department Of Education Workers Put On Hold By Federal Judge
A vigil and memorial was held Sunday night at the Congregation Ansche Chesed on New York’s Upper West Side.
Police sources tell CBS Pittsburgh that the gunman, identified as 48-year-old Robert Bowers, walked into the building and yelled “all Jews must die.”
FBI officials are investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. Bowers was charged Saturday night in a 29-count criminal complaint handed down by federal prosecutors.
In New York City, the NYPD has announced that its counter-terrorism units are being deployed in response to the mass shooting.
“The NYPD is deploying heavy weapons teams, including the officers from the Critical Response Command and the Strategic Response Team, to houses of worship across the City,” NYPD officials said in a statement Saturday.
“Additionally, sector cars in every command across New York City will be making additional visits to ensure the safety of all of our residents. Currently, there is no nexus to New York. But these steps are being taken until further information is learned about the events in Pittsburgh by the NYPD.”
At a press conference outside Park East Synagogue on Manhattan’s Upper East Side Saturday evening, Mayor Bill de Blasio said New York had “an opportunity to be a beacon to this nation right now by showing what it means to embrace each other and support each other.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo also ordered State Police to patrol around Jewish center and houses of worship across New York State.
Nassau County Executive Laura Curran and Police Commissioner Patrick J. Ryder have taken similar action on Long Island following the shooting.
President Trump also addressed the tragedy before boarding Air Force One and while speaking at the Future Farmers of America Convention in Indianapolis.
Trump was asked about revisiting gun laws and said if those inside had protection, “maybe it could have been a much different situation.”
“Anti-Semitism and the widespread persecution of Jews represents one of the ugliest and darkest features of human history,” the president said Saturday. “There must be no tolerance for anti-Semitism in America or for any form of religious or racial hatred or prejudice.”
Later in the day, Trump ordered American flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Halloween.
Local religious and political leaders offered their condolences to the victims in Saturday’s shooting. Timothy Cardinal Dolan called the massacre “an attack on all people of faith.”
“We pray for those killed and injured as we stand in solidarity against anti-Semitism & hatred wherever it occurs,” the archbishop of the New York Diocese said.
Mayor Bill de Blasio called anti-Semitism “a dangerous cancer on our society.”
“To our Jewish neighbors and communities: Your city stands with you,” de Blasio said. “We will protect you. And together we will defeat this hatred.”
“The New York family grieves for those who were killed and prays for those who were injured in this heinous and horrific mass shooting,” Governor Cuomo said, calling for the country to “stand together and stand against the corrosive and destructive forces of hate in all its forms.”
Members and supporters of the city’s Jewish community held a vigil at Union Square around 7 p.m.MORE NEWS: Gov. Kathy Hochul Increases Pressure On COVID Vaccine Holdouts As Deadline For Health Care Workers Approaches
“Their loss is our loss,” protester Maryl Zach said. “They could’ve been any of us, and they are all of us.”