Mourning the victims of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack

A 97-year-old woman, an octogenarian couple, two brothers. Americans on Sunday learned the identities of the 11 victims of the bloody assault on a Pittsburgh synagogue — a mostly elderly group and easy targets for a shooter who said he “wanted all Jews to die.”

Nine of the 11 were 65 or older, several old enough to have been children during the rise of Nazism. They included Rose Mallinger, age 97, and couple Sylvan and Bernice Simon, both in their 80s.

Federal officials said Sunday that 46-year-old suspect Robert Bowers — arrested at the Tree of Life synagogue after a firefight with police — faces 29 federal charges, many of them carrying the death penalty. He appeared before a federal magistrate on Monday.

Across the country, prayer vigils and ecumenical services were held in tribute to the dead as words of solace and commiseration poured in from the U.S. Jewish community — the largest outside Israel — but also from the pope and European leaders. (AFP)

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