Pittsburgh athletes, teams express support in wake of deadly synagogue shooting


Pittsburgh teams and athletes reacted with sorrow Saturday following the shooting deaths of 11 people during a baby-naming ceremony at a city synagogue.

At least six others were wounded, including four police officers who dashed to the scene, authorities said. Police said a suspect was in custody after the attack at the Tree of Life Congregation in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.

“We woke up to the terrible news this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and families affected by what happened this morning,” Penguins star Sidney Crosby said from Vancouver, British Columbia, where the team is preparing to play the Canucks later this evening. “Knowing Pittsburgh, I know we’ll stick together and rally around them and be there to support and help in any way we can.”

A law enforcement official who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity identified the suspect as Robert Bowers and said he is in his 40s. Bob Jones, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s office in Pittsburgh, said Bowers was not known to law enforcement and that they believe he was acting alone. He said Bowers’ full motive still isn’t known.

“The victims of today’s tragic events are in our thoughts and in our hearts. The people of Pittsburgh are standing together in love and support of our Squirrel Hill community,” read a tweet from Pitt athletics prior to the Panthers’ football game against Duke.

More reaction followed Saturday.

City officials said the shooting was being investigated as a federal hate crime.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

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