Washington DC—Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords issued the following statement in response to news of a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh on Saturday morning. Multiple people have been shot and fatalities have been reported. Three law enforcement officers responding to the active shooting situation are reportedly among those shot.
The shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh today comes just days after a man killed two people at a Kroger grocery store in Kentucky after trying to enter a predominantly black church nearby.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords:
“This morning, the sanctuaries of Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill were targeted by a hate-fueled act of violence. Several are dead, many others injured. Neighborhoods in Pittsburgh are devastated, and our Jewish community is heartbroken. Our nation is shaken to its core.
“I’d like to say a tragedy like this is unimaginable, but I can’t.
“From the Pulse nightclub shooting to the sickening protests we saw unfold in Charlottesville last year to the attack at Mother Emanuel in Charleston, our nation has seen tragedy after tragedy unfold when hatred and bigotry are emboldened. Just this week, a man in Kentucky targeted an African American church before finding and shooting two victims at a nearby supermarket. Also this week, Americans also watched in horror as the story of a serial bomber unfolded. Political violence, hate speech, and crimes against the First Amendment have no place in our society.
“The alarming frequency with which we watch these terrifying scenes unfold in our communities is devastating—and it’s not normal. Every single day, nearly 100 Americans are killed with a gun in our country. We must not only recognize the realities of hatred in our society, but actively work to make it harder for dangerous people fueled by hate to access firearms and murder innocent people.”
Gabrielle Giffords’s Rabbi Stephanie Aaron, Congregation Chaverim, Tucson, Arizona:
“We are horrified, shocked and in deep grief over these shootings this morning. How many more innocent people will be shot where they stand across our country; in their schools, synagogues, churches, movie theaters, and malls. Enough is enough; it is time for us to end this hatred: this rampage; this violence; this plague of prejudice. Our hearts reach out to embrace the victims and their families.”