PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Flowers line many of the streets in Squirrel Hill, some of them leaning against the hedges outside the Tree of Life Synagogue where yellow police tape is still hanging in place and police cars block the streets.
It’s all a reminder of what happened inside the synagogue early Saturday morning. Eleven people were shot dead — eight men and three women. Six others were injured, including four police officers, after Robert Bowers allegedly opened fire inside.
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Ambassador Dani Dayan, the Consul General of Israel, told KDKA-TV’s Brenda Waters he flew to Pittsburgh as soon as he got word of the shooting.
“It was total disbelief. My heart is broken. I come quite frequently to Pittsburgh and I love the Jewish community here. I have extremely good relations with the mayor, the county executive and I didn’t expect in my worst nightmares that my next visit to Pittsburgh would be under these circumstances. It is really appalling,” Dayan said.
Ambassador Dayan represents Israel in five states, including Pennsylvania. He says immediately after touching down in Pittsburgh, he went to the Tree of Life to pay his respects and to say a silent prayer.
What happened here affects not only this community, but an entire city and the country. The ambassador says his heart is heavy with pain.
“I ask myself why,” Dayan said.
Many of us are asking that question.
Naftali Bennett, the minister of diaspora affairs for the state of Israel, flew from Israel to Pittsburgh on Saturday night after receiving news of the shooting. He spoke at a vigil at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall on Sunday.