Robert Bowers, the gunman who stormed a synagogue in Pittsburgh’s Jewish community and killed 11 worshippers, will be sentenced to death for perpetrating the deadliest antisemitic attack in U.S. history. Bowers spewed hatred of Jews and espoused white supremacist beliefs online before methodically planning and carrying out the 2018 massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue, where members of three congregations had gathered for Sabbath worship and study. Bowers, a truck driver from suburban Baldwin, also wounded two worshippers and five responding police officers, the Associated Press reports.
The same federal jury that convicted Bowers, 50, on 63 criminal courts recommended Wednesday that he be put to death for an attack whose impacts continue to reverberate. The verdict came after a lengthy trial in which jurors heard in chilling detail how Bowers reloaded at least twice, stepped over the bloodied bodies of his victims to look for more people to shoot, and surrendered only when he ran out of ammunition. In the sentencing phase, grieving family members told the jury about the lives Bowers took, including a 97-year-old woman and intellectually disabled brothers, and the unrelenting pain of their loss. Survivors testified about their lasting pain, both physical and emotional.