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11 Dead in Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue. Aired 9-10p ET
Aired October 27, 2018 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
[21:00:00] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And be advised suspect is crawling. It's dangerous. Nine to three hours, squad's talking to him, telling him they'll continue to call at this time.
7-1, suspect is talking about all these Jews need to die. We're still communicating with him.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: 59 (ph) radio.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And be advised the suspect in khakis, red shirt at this time. We don't know if he changed clothes.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's the suspect, he's talking about killing Jews. He doesn't want any of them to live.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, right, I already relayed that on the other side of the stairs, copy that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN NEWSROOM ANCHOR: We begin our coverage this hour in Pittsburgh with CNN Anchor Victor Blackwell.
And Victor, of course, we will cover this community and the status of the survivors and the victims. But to you on the investigation piece, the shooting suspect, we know he was hit. Our understanding, he's in fair condition. Is he cooperating? What more do we know about him?
VICTOR BLACKWELL, CNN ANCHOR: So investigators are not saying at this moment if Robert Bowers, this 46 years old -- 46-year-old who they say is responsible for this shooting, is cooperating. But we know that he was shot several times, and they say he was responsible for the deaths of 11 people and injuring six others.
We're 11 hours on now from this shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. And we're getting a clearer picture of the man they say is responsible and of the attack.
Now, the FBI is in control of this investigation, supported by state and local authorities as well. All the way at the top, the Department of Justice there, the Attorney General Jeff Sessions says that there will be hate crime charges filed in this case. And they have the evidence, they say, starting at the beginning of the timeline today at 9:49 a.m. where you mentioned the social media post in which he referenced a Jewish support group, a Jewish refugee support group, and says that members were bringing "invaders," as he called them, into the country, killing his people.
And he wrote, quote, according to law enforcement officials, screw your optics, I'm going in. Then five minutes later the calls started to come in from the synagogue of the shooting.
A minute after that authorities say that the first Pittsburgh officer, uniformed officer, showed up. But by then they say that Bowers had already shot and killed those 11 people. And then that officer was injured.
Another officer was injured. Two SWAT officers also were injured.
We're told that this entire thing, from start to finish, the moment he walked in to the moment he was taken out, lasted 20 minutes. And that in those 20 minutes he had four weapons with him, an assault weapon and three handguns. Not clear if he used all four of those.
Investigators say that they are not aware of any history with him, they had no history, no of him being involved with the local law enforcement. But of course they're getting to know him right now. They do believe he worked alone.
And as it relates to charges, the U.S. attorney who is in charge of the Western District here in Pennsylvania says those charges could come as soon as this evening. So the investigation here and the footprint around us right now is large because this is a large crime scene. They, of course, will be going through his home, through his car, to try to find out more about the man they say is responsible for this mass killing.
BALDWIN: Of course. Victor, thank you so much in this community covering the investigative piece of all of this.
But now, two just of those survivors, again, six people survived, they were wounded, two of them are listed in critical condition this evening, including a police officer. So Jean Casarez is covering that for us, she's at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
And Jean, just give us a sense of how the survivors are doing.
JEAN CASAREZ, CNN CORESPONDENT: Well, we are right outside the level one trauma center, and there are several of them here in Pittsburgh. But as you said, two of the surviving victims, and there are six surviving victims, two of them are in critical condition tonight.
One, a 70-year-old male who had multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, affecting major organs. He has undergone, we know tonight, a second surgery. We do not know his status at this point. But he is in one of the trauma centers. The other is the 55-year-old police officer in critical condition, multiple gunshot wounds. Once again, this one to his extremities. We also know there is a 61-year-old female victim who is in the hospital tonight, in the trauma center along with another police officer. And right here at this trauma center, which is the University of Pittsburgh Mercy Hospital, a 27-year-old police officer.
Now there is some bright news. One of the six surviving victims was released from the hospital tonight. That would be a police officer. But that is the update that we have tonight of only six surviving victims.
[21:05:00] And tomorrow morning at 9:30, we understand, according from the mayor of Pittsburgh, the names of those who perished in this attack, the 11 victims that did not survive, their names will become public.
BALDWIN: OK, Jean, thank you so much.
Investigators are trying to learn more about this shooter. Federal agents swooping in on the apartment complex where this man lived. Miguel Marquez is outside his home.
Miguel, what do you know?
MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes. So they've been in there several hours now. They're actually taking no chances. Had the bomb squad go in first with a robot to make sure that there was nothing in there that could harm them as they went about their work.
But there are federal agents in the apartment right now. They've been coming and going, bringing things in and then taking other equipment in to the house.
We spoke to a neighbor who says that he lived here for about two years. He was here off and on, he'd be here a few days, then a few days off. Said that he told his fiancee that he was a truck driver.
The only thing odd, he said, this was a relatively normal guy, kept to himself, didn't see him very much, would wave, didn't seem unfriendly, didn't seem particularly friendly. The only thing that seemed odd is that he listened -- he watched T.V. at fairly loud volumes because his neighbor could hear it, usually cable news or some sort of news program at very odd hours of the day or night. But it seemed like he was a fairly normal guy and was just shocked to hear that this is the guy who is suspected of doing this.
Now, 17 days before that, Mr. Bowers quoted, HIAS likes to bring invaders to kill our people. HIAS is a Jews refugee advocacy group that held a national refugee about last week. And that was 17 days before.
He posted a video that the HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society that does helped resettle immigrants, seemed very concerned about HIAS and the caravan in Central America and Mexico, and that it was coming up this way. And that HIAS had been on the border of Mexico. He posted a video that HIAS is made about that and seemed very concerned about that 17 days before this event. So authorities just now are really digging into his life.
BALDWIN: Miguel, thank you for that.
We've got some breaking news. I want to pull away from you and go to these two guys sitting in my right. Shimon Prokupecz and Josh Campbell here on the charges.
So, now 29 counts.
SHIMON PROKUPECZ, CNN CRIME AND JUSTICE REPORTER: That's right, Brooke. Twenty-nine counts. Just in now, the Department of Justice, the U.S. attorney's office in Pittsburgh filing the charges, saying a judge just signed a criminal complaint charging Robert Bowers with 29 counts setting forth federal crimes of violence and firearms offenses.
The statement goes on to say the crimes of violence are based upon the Federal Civil Rights Laws prohibiting hate crimes and that the FBI in Pittsburgh is leading the investigation.
And just to go over with some of these counts are with you, Brooke.
PROKUPECZ: It's 11 counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death.
PROKUPECZ: Eleven counts of use of firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime or violence. Four counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury. And then three counts of use of discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime. So there you go. All the counts.
The most important thing, obviously is that he's now charged with a hate crime.
PROKUPECZ: Federal civil rights violations.
BALDWIN: Which is what we heard from Jeff Sessions --
BALDWIN: -- that they would file.
PROKUPECZ: Which is the most significant charge in all of these. And finally they say they're going to have a press conference tomorrow at 9:00 a.m. in Pittsburgh where they're going to release more information.
The criminal complaint will have a lot more information. It looks like that remains sealed at this moment.
PROKUPECZ: But that's going to have kind of the crux of at least of what they have so far found.
PROKUPECZ: A lot more detail that we're looking for --
PROKUPECZ: -- behind the motivation, perhaps, I mean, what sparked this today. And clearly this is not a person who has held these beliefs, and clearly it's a person who's held these beliefs for --
BALDWIN: For a long time.
PROKUPECZ: -- quite some time. But what sparked this today, that still something that hasn't been answered.
JOSH CAMPBELL, CNN LAW ENFORCEMENT ANALYST: And it will be very interesting, I mean, obviously the U.S. Department of Justice bringing the full weight of federal law to bear here with this person. What will be interesting as we get that underlying supporting affidavit tomorrow, the more lengthy document that's sworn out by an FBI agent in front of a judge, is, do they include the social media information that they've come across? If you remember --
BALDWIN: Which they did as we were talking yesterday about the pipe bombs. It's in his Twitter.
CAMPBELL: Exactly, the pipe bomb is key aspect of that to be able to look through his digital footprint, to use it as evidence.
Now, to be sure, the government doesn't have to include that information. I mean, this is sufficient enough based on what we've seen at the scene itself. But again that will tell us a lot about the mindset of investigators and prosecutors if they start, you know, digging into that social media history and then entering that at least as information that they're using initially to charge.
[21:10:01] PROKUPECZ: And also his words, right. We know what he was saying at the scene.
BALDWIN: At the scene and after his arrest.
PROKUPECZ: That's right. So those words --
BALDWIN: Anti-Semitic Remarks.
PROKUPECZ: -- were likely be included in any of the charges and the criminal complaint that usually --
BALDWIN: OK. PROKUPECZ: -- that it went, it's unsealed. And also, if he was cooperating. Maybe he made some statements that they decide that they want to include.
BALDWIN: I want to ask about that.
BALDWIN: So he was shot, right? We've determined that he was in the Synagogue for 20 entire minutes --
CAMPBELL: Yes. A long time.
BALDWIN: -- which is a long time. He tries to go out one of the exits. He is confronted by a member of law enforcement. Law enforcement, you know, hits him. Suspect's in fair condition.
Law enforcement, remember, I think that particular officer is OK. Nevertheless, he is now presumably in a hospital, presumably surrounded by law enforcement. What are they doing with him right now?
CAMPBELL: So, when you have a subject that's been injured and is now receiving medical treatment, you know, this is the type of incident where you're going to have high-level scrutiny with the Department of Justice, with prosecutors. Because the question is, at what point does this person be presented in front of a judge? That has to happen.
And usually if -- take out the fact that he was injured, it was just an arrest, officers would have that period of time before they had to turn him over where they can ask questions, try to get him to cooperate, talk to him. It's a lot different when he's been injured because the clock is ticking.
Will officers have that opportunity to talk to him? Does he even want to talk? Can he talk? That's a big question.
We'll also -- I'm sure find out tomorrow morning at what point, for how rapid prosecutors are going to move forward with, you know, presenting him --
BALDWIN: Yes. What's our next steps?
PROKUPECZ: So, yes. So there'll be a presentment, it could be tomorrow, more likely Monday in Pittsburgh he'll see a judge. He probably would not enter a plea on his first court date. It's a presentment. They lay out the case, his attorney is there.
Also keep in mind, once he's charged, usually what happens is, if he was cooperating, once he's charged, it's usually the cooperation would stop, because then the lawyer would get assigned to him.
PROKUPECZ: So, you know, we don't know if he was cooperating in this case, we'll see, obviously.
So he'll appear in court. And, you know, if he's in the hospital they may have to delay the court appearance. Sometimes they do house bedside arraignments. We don't know if that would apply in this case. It could if he's that seriously injured.
And then, you know, they'll set a court date. And then there'll be a more formal court proceeding where we may hear him plea. He'll probably get -- there have to be an indictment. Maybe by -- sometime next week, the next step would be that they will present evidence to a grand jury where he would be indicted and then they would proceed forward.
And then there's going to be a question of the death penalty and whether or not he faces the death penalty in this case. And that ultimately becomes really the decision of the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions.
CAMPBELL: Yes. And we have to remember that, you know, everything dealing with the subject, that's one aspect of this investigation. But throughout the night into tomorrow and the next -- the coming days, FBI agents, law enforcement officers, you know, multi-agency effort will be digging into the subject's past, identifying associates, identifying family members, perhaps, friends, co-workers, you know, his colleagues. We've received, you know, information indicating that he has this history in the trucking industry as a commercial driver's license, are there associates they want to talk to?
Again, try to get in the mindset, if there's someone that maybe they can glean additional information about in talking to these people? That's what going on.
And then lastly, we heard earlier from Bob Jones, the special agent in charge there in Pittsburgh that they're actually sending resources from Washington to Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh area, from the FBI's Quantico facility. He mentioned they have their evidence technicians that will be coming, victim specialists coming to care for, you know, the family members, obviously, and friends of the victims, as well as those of the survivors.
But then also this technical capability resources again are trying to dig into this person's footprint. So, bottom line, my point here is that this is one aspect, the subject himself. And law enforcement officers have a lot of work ahead of them to really build out the full portrait who this person was.
PROKUPECZ: I think another important is this is what the FBI think in these situations does so well is that they build out a timeline. You know, they go back days, weeks, months, maybe in this case even years to see what happened here, where did this person turn? And most important, what was going on in the last few days.
We see this a lot in terrorism cases, where they go back and they want to know, who was he communicating with? Who was he talking to? Whether cell phone, e-mail, the Gab stuff. Who was receiving that? What did someone else know something here was going on? And that really goes also beyond just this case. You know, there are always -- law enforcement is always learning, trying to learn. Did they make a mistake here somewhere? Did they miss something?
PROKUPECZ: Is there a misstep here? That's going to be critical in this investigation.
BALDWIN: On the Gab stuff, --
BALDWIN: -- I mean, for people who are just tuning in and are reeling with this news as we all are, there's this social media site that you may not be familiar with called gap.com where -- Gab, excuse me, Gab.com, where he was, you know, putting out all of this anti-Semitic material for. Do we know how far back that went?
CAMPBELL: So, our team is digging into that right now.
CAMPBELL: I mean, the question is, you know, when people put stuff out on social media, this is, you know, an outward manifestation of their beliefs. They want people to know.
[21:15:00] And it appears, you know the fact that we can go in and read these things, our investigative team tells us that this was out there, you know, the public eater (ph). The question is how far does it go back? And that's something that we're really going to be digging into.
Perhaps, you know, it's obviously very striking with some of tone or some of this verbiage. But even the timeline like Shimon was talking about earlier, the fact that some of these messages were so recent upright to the point.
CAMPBELL: The four minutes before the attack.
BALDWIN: As he was actually walked into the Synagogue.
CAMPBELL: Yes, it's incredible. You know, interesting you talk about the site. I mean this is something we had of our Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter is on earlier talking about, you know, this is a platform that's known, you know, for the upright and white supremacist and really a lot of question material.
BALDWIN: It's not monitored. That's why they flock to this.
PROKUPECZ: They -- that's -- well, that's -- they tout themselves as this company, I guess, that doesn't -- they don't take down hate speech, you know, Twitter would. BALDWIN: Facebook would.
PROKUPECZ: Facebook would, other social media sites. They sort of say, hey, you know, you go on and you say whatever you want to say. I mean, there are some limitations, but they basically allow people to say whatever they want.
And that's how they build themselves. You know, it's about free speech, and you say whatever you want.
There is a lot of stuff on there. I surely never heard of this before --
BALDWIN: I never heard of it --
PROKUPECZ: -- and the name was a surprise. I wonder if law enforcement knows about it. And if that is something that they monitor on their own.
BALDWIN: So much to it.
CAMPBELL: Yes. So one person have the resources just to troll through everything online, but this is a platform that's familiar with them. It's been around a couple of years now. The company boasts some, you know, half million users, so they say.
What will be interesting, though, knowing that this is their business model, that they are providing a platform where this material can exist without the filters that say a Twitter has, or Facebook that they try to, you know, police to the extent that they can some of these platforms. What will be fascinating is if law enforcement hits that company with a search warrant or grand jury subpoena.
BALDWIN: And what else they can find?
CAMPBELL: And what else they can find. I mean, they're compelled to do so, to cooperate. But how much material they actually maintain and retain that will then be available to investigators. So something is yet to be seen.
BALDWIN: They'll be forced to.
PROKUPECZ: Yes, I mean, they can fight it, obviously. You know, you can fight a subpoena. But yes, they would be forced to. I mean, it's also that it now really puts them in the forefront, right?
Many of us didn't know this even existed. Well, hey, now we do. So we'll see how they react to it.
He really -- it's really disturbing. And it's sad that all the things that he was saying. And you know, there's so much more to learn about this guy for law enforcement, I think that it's going to be an important step. Especially with everything that's going on in this country right now. CAMPBELL: think we can prepared for a little more frustration because we know, I mean, how many of these have the three of us covered where someone comes out and says, yes, this is exactly the kind of person we expected would do this kind of thing.
And the is question --
BALDWIN: So, the message is --
BALDWIN: -- try to alert someone and, you know, nothing in the end happened.
Again, the Anti-Defamation League, the ADL, saying they believe this is the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.
Gentlemen, thank you so much for all that information. And again, facing 29 counts, setting forth federal crimes of violence and fire arms offenses against this individual, Robert Bowers of Baldwin, Pennsylvania.
Ahead, we will talk to two journalists from Pittsburgh following today's shooting to get their take on how this community, Squirrel Hill, how they're doing. We'll be right back.
[21:20:56] BALDWIN: We talked about the investigation and the charges. I want to talk now about this Pittsburgh community. This community devastated, heartbroken, in mourning after 11 of their own were killed in a shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
My next guests both on the phone with me tonight on this Saturday evening. I have David Shribman, he is the Executive Editor of "The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette." And Jim Busis is the CEO and Publisher of the Jewish Chronicle. And gentlemen, thank you both for being with me. And our hearts are heavy for this community.
David, if I may, I just want to start with you. Your piece in "The Post Gazette" nearly had my producer and I in tears. How poignant, how close you are to this community, and how you open the whole piece talking about, you know, after that church in Charleston, South Carolina, after the Islamic Center in Quebec City, you write, we knew it could happen here.
Can you tell me about the call you got this morning?
DAVID SHRIBMAN, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, PITTSBURGH POST GAZETO (via telephone): Well, I got a call, actually, from somebody who had just driven by. And we knew this could happen here. And in fact, by here, I mean, three blocks from home.
I was driving right by there. My wife was unable to get home. This is a corner we traverse on a weekend probably five, six, eight times. It's part of the landscape of our minds, the landscape of this community in a way that few others are.
This is the heart of the community. Pittsburgh and Squirrel Hill meet at that corner.
BALDWIN: And Jim, you -- it's my understanding you were at this vigil this evening held at nearby Presbyterian Church. Can you take us inside and tell us a little bit about the emotion that I'm sure was flowing?
JIM BUSIS, CEO AND PUBLISHER, PITTSBURGH JEWISH CHRONICLE (via telephone): Yes. I should say that from what I understand, it's the first of what will be any number of vigils and was actually organized by students from the local high school, which is in the center of the neighborhood and has a large number of Jewish students.
And it was organized at an intersection which we call the "center of the universe," which is really the center of the Jewish community. There happens to be a church there, there's also the JCC there.
The people were quiet and solemn, and I would say not defiant but certainly not subdued. People were really seeking, I think, towards action. At one point the crowd broke into a chant of, vote, vote, vote.
BALDWIN: Really, less than a week and a half away from midterm elections.
And maybe on that point, David, what do you think what caused this? What caused this?
SHRIBMAN: What caused this? We'll never know the full answer to what caused this. We'll never know what's in the hearts and minds of this fellow who did this.
All we know, what's in the grieving hearts and befuddled minds of our neighbors. Jim used to -- who lives near me. We all live right at that corner that's on T.V. right there. I was there picking up a prescription.
We won't know, we'll never know. It's the questions and not the answers that guide (ph) us and that haunt us right now.
BALDWIN: Jim, we heard from President Trump earlier today. And part of his message was, well, there, you know, we must put armed guards. You know, had there been an armed guard at the synagogue. And we must put armed guards at our places of worship.
And I'm just, you know, whether it's a synagogue or a church or a mosque, is that even realistic to do across this country?
[21:25:01] BUSIS: Well, I think you have to think about the problem in two parts. One of it is the universal access to guns and the problems that that causes. And the other is the deep-rooted anti- semitism which has existed for a very, very long time. On the gun part of it, it seems inconceivable that we could protect every synagogue, church, and mosque in this country. And so I think there have to be other policy alternatives.
But of course we all know, what was columbine, under the Clinton administration? This has been going on for decades and no one has come up with any sensible policy solutions.
SHRIBMAN: I would add, if I may here --
SHRIBMAN: -- that -- and Jim, I think will affirm this, that Jews in Pittsburgh live with remarkable ease, comfort, and security. Here the parade to pray of Orthodox Jews in by cats (ph) and lack woods (ph) don't like mystery on Friday night is totally unremarkable.
Here the Jewish community center is actually the community center. About 40% of the members aren't Jewish at all.
Here Jim's old newspaper, "The Jewish Chronicle" which has its origins in -- before the industrial revolution even. It's full of advertisements even for secular places. This is the place of ease and comfort and what university students sometimes call safe places. This is the ultimate Jewish safe place.
Unlike every place else in America, unlike New York, unlike Philadelphia, unlike other places, Jewish life here did not migrate to the suburbs, it's right here at the corner of Murray and Forbes.
BALDWIN: And David, if I can stay with you, because I think your point at the end of your piece, I want you to make this on CNN here. You know, your piece with the saying that in our grief we need something to steady us. And you reflect on where the synagogue's name comes from. Can you explain the Tree of Life?
SHRIBMAN: Well, Tree of Life is a passage from proverbs that lent its name to this place of tragedy here. And it's a reference to the metaphor that describes Judaism's most sacred text, the Torah, is itself a Tree of Life. And it's transliterated in Hebrew as (INAUDIBLE) that this translate motivation for those who don't read evil and translates this way.
It is a Tree of Life to all who hold fast to it, its waves are waves of pleasantness, and all its paths are peace. That's a pointed message on a night like this.
BALDWIN: I just wanted to end our conversation on that. And its paths are peace. David Shribman, Jim Busis, again, our condolences to this beautiful community. Thank you so much. I appreciate both of you. Thank you.
BUSIS: Thank you so much.
SHRIBMAN: Thank you too. Bye-bye.
BALDWIN: We'll be right back.
[21:30:56] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back. You're watching CNN's special live coverage of this tragedy in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Jewish community and the nation is in mourning this evening. The ADL, Anti-Defamation League, releasing a statement saying that the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting is likely the deadliest attack on Jews in United States history.
And joining me now is the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, Jonathan Greenblatt. Jonathan, thank you so much for being with me. A powerful, devastating sentiment. Can you --
JONATHAN GREENBLATT, CEO OF THE ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE: Yes.
BALDWIN: How devastating is this for you?
GREENBLATT: Well this is, as you mentioned at the top, this is the most lethal and violent attack on the Jewish community in America in the history of this country.
BALDWIN: Just stop for a second on that. That is profound and profoundly sad.
GREENBLATT: It is sad. And Brooke, it will be more sad tomorrow as the stories of the victims come out. And I've -- what I've heard already is heartbreaking. And I think first and foremost our thoughts need to go out to the families and the victims who went into a Synagogue to worship, who went into a Synagogue to pray, and there was a Bris taking place. You know, this is the --
BALDWIN: There was a Bris?
GREENBLATT: That's right. There was a Bris.
BALDWIN: Chairman, go ahead and explain what a Bris is.
GREENBLATT: So when a boy baby is born, a male baby is born, eight days into its life it's comes to this -- it's brought to the Synagogue for a service where the baby gets its name. And at this moment of hope, suddenly there was this act of horror where a man ran into the Synagogue with automatic weapons and murdered in cold blood 11 people.
Whose only crime, of course, whose only offense, of course, was that they were Jewish and that they were praying. So it's hard to imagine something more despicable. And I think just very sad overall. It make them Sikh that attack on the Jewish community, but it's an attack on our country. These are all our values. These are all our children. This is any one of us.
BALDWIN: The Bris that was happening and the baby boy, we understand the 11 people who were killed were all adults.
BALDWIN: I know law enforcement and I believe the mayor said they're going to be releasing names tomorrow morning --
BALDWIN: -- of what you know that you can share?
GREENBLATT: Well, I think the bottom line is these were moms and dads. These were people and families with children. These were, again, people who came together on a Saturday to pray and to worship. This is not what should have happened. This is not something we can tolerate. And look, whether it's -- let's keep in mind, 2012, a Sikh Gurdwara, Sikh temple was attacked in Oak, again, like Wisconsin people were murdered. And in summer of 2015, that's the black Synagogue, the black church in --
BALDWIN: Mother Emanuel in Charleston, South Carolina.
GREENBLATT: Mother Emanuel in the church of Charleston. People murdered in cold blood.
BALDWIN: As they were praying with their eyes closed.
GREENBLATT: The notion that our houses of worship become houses of slaughter is the kind of thing we should not tolerate. We cannot accept.
BALDWIN: What do you -- I mean the Jewish high holidays, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, there already is police presence and security around Synagogues.
GREENBLATT: Sure, sure.
BALDWIN: Because the Jewish people are so highly targeted and hated in this country by a number of extremists.
BALDWIN: You can't put armed guards at every Synagogue and church and mosque in this country.
BALDWIN: You can't do that.
BALDWIN: Am I wrong?
GREENBLATT: Well you're not wrong. I mean it's a sad state of affairs when specifically for a moment like every Jewish institution, Synagogue, school, community center, many offices like our office at the ADL, we all have security of some kind. This Synagogue which didn't have an armed guard imagined that they had done active shooter drills. And thankfully, those save lives. It happened a few months before coordinated by the local federation.
BALDWIN: They had. [21:35:04] GREENBLATT: They had. And they saved lives today. But can you imagine? I mean you think you're going to go to Synagogue or church to learn how to pray not to learn how to run, to learn how to worship not how to shelter in place. So this is unacceptable.
BALDWIN: I have numbers. I know you know these by heart but the ADL found 1,986 cases of harassment, vandalism, or physical assault against Jewish people or institutions. This is 2017. It was 1,267 in 2016. So that that uptick.
BALDWIN: Where is that coming from?
GREENBLATT: Look, we've been tracking hate crimes generally and specifically anti-Semitic incidents for almost 40 years at the ADL. And we've seen a steady decline over the last 15 years until 2016 when there was a 34 percent spike. And then last year, a 57 percent increase on that number, the single largest surge that we've ever seen in the history of this organization.
GREENBLATT: So these are acts of vandalism, and violence, and harassment.
GREENBLATT: I think there are multiple factors of play. Again, as you said before, Jews have always been targeted. Jews are more subject to hate crimes than any other religious minority in the country. In addition, the climate that we're in where conspiracies are taking root, where people believe globalists are somehow trying to destroy U.S. sovereignty.
It's no accident that in Charlottesville last year, a rally that was about confederate statues degenerated into a melee where the crowd chanted "Jews will not replace us." And all of these factors, the polarization, the tension, the scapegoating, it's been amplified by social media.
Literally we just released a report yesterday where we called out the increased incitement that we've seen on Twitter in particular against public -- Jewish public figures, you know, ahead of this midterm election.
It's absolutely terrifying to think we were talking about this yesterday, and then today, this man, and we know what he was doing on Gab and on Twitter, took guns, three guns into a Synagogue and murdered 11 people in cold blood.
BALDWIN: I was just talking to a friend whose mother is afraid of stepping foot in a Synagogue now. What is your message as these moms and dads were at Shabbat services this morning where anyone was allowed in on Saturday morning?
BALDWIN: What is your message to the Jewish community tonight?
GREENBLATT: Yes, Brooke, I learned about this incident when I walked out of my own Synagogue this morning and I looked at my phone as I walked out the door. So, look, I will tell you this, we cannot let the white supremacists. We cannot let the bigots and the haters win. So we need to introduce security protocols at all of our Synagogues and any house of worship, as I said before. And we need our leaders to lead and to call this out when it happens, immediately, intentionally and honestly.
BALDWIN: What do you want them to say, specifically?
GREENBLATT: To say that hate has no place in our country. To say that we can imagine a world in which this country is appreciated for what it is, the most diverse, the most enriched country in the world. And I think our Jewish community along with our Muslim community, along with our Sikh community, along with all of our Christian and those who don't even worship. We're all in this together. And I wish there are elected leaders who would remind us of that and turn down the rhetoric. That's what we need.
BALDWIN: Jonathan Greenblatt, thank you.
GREENBLATT: Thank you.
BALDWIN: Thank you. We'll be right back. Thank you.
[21:42:47] BALDWIN: The man accused of today's massacre inside of a Pittsburgh Synagogue wrote multiple postings online spewing hate against Jewish people, blaming them for helping refugees, even criticizing President Trump for surrounding himself with too many Jewish people. With me now, Samantha Vinograd, CNN National Security Analyst, and let's just start with these postings on gab.com. Something I hadn't been familiar with this apparently. It's a popular spot for --
SAMANTHA VINOGRAD, CNN NATIONAL SECURITY ANALYST: Bigots.
BALDWIN: -- scapegoat for Twitter, right.
BALDWIN: Exactly. And talk to me about would his postings, specifically what he said about HIAS.
VINOGRAD: Well one of the most disturbing things about the incident today was that it was preventable. This man was not a sleeper. He wasn't keeping to himself. He had a large digital footprint that painted the record of a man obsessed with hurting a minority group, Jews. And so in this, you just have to wonder why Twitter wasn't aware, why Gab wasn't aware. We know that Gab likes to propagate this alt-right conspiracy theories, hate speech. And no one took them down, no one said anything. And for me personally, my father is a Holocaust survivor. And something that he's always taught me is if you hear hate, even if it's not directed against you, speak up. Because, if there's no one left to speak up, then it's allowed to fester.
And so many people could have said something about this man whether it's a digital platforms people he interacted with. And somehow no one did and we ended up with a massacre today.
BALDWIN: You said your father survived the Holocaust.
BALDWIN: I just want that to sink in for people watching. We see you on all the time covering national security issues. Your father survived the Holocaust. This is personal for you?
VINOGRAD: It's personal for me. It's personal for my father. It's personal for Jews around the country. But I've also heard from so many people from different religions today and I would say this, if this attack could happened at a mosque or church or any other place of worship, this is an attack against people based upon their faith. The Jewish people are no stranger to violence. It has really plagued us since the beginning of time. Genocides, Pogroms, the Holocaust, many of us have encountered threats every -- not every day but in our daily lives. This is nothing new. There is something different, though, Brooke.
BALDWIN: What is that?
VINOGRAD: We have leadership in this country that propagate conspiracy theories, conspiracy theories about Jews, conspiracy theories about refugees, conspiracy theories migrants.
[21:45:08] That is what's different. The hatred that fills some people people's hearts which is inexplicable to you and to me, that's not new.
But when people hear from there leadership, this conspiracy theories that spread false information that's importantly having an impact and ending in brutal circumstances.
BALDWIN: That's the difference between before and today is -- and hearing the head of the head of the ADL sitting in that chair a second ago, Jonathan saying, you know, needing to hear leaders. Needing to hear people at the top say, enough is enough. Really call it out specifically all this hate and this hate speech in this country.
You took the Twitter today that the Mourner's Kaddish, it is a Jewish prayer on mourning loved ones who passed. Tell me why you twitted out every single word?
VINOGRAD: I twitted out the word as you mentioned for it to prayer that we say when someone dies, when you're on mourning and on the anniversary of someone's death. I'm horrified by what happened today as most Americans and people around the world are. And we are mourning the death of so many Americans today. They were Jews but they were also Americans.
We're mourning that but I also think we need to use this as a lesson going forward to, again, speak up. If you hear someone using hate speech that could so quickly turn into a hate crime as we saw it today. How many more of these incidences do we have to go through?
You and I covered the stories whether it's against African-Americans or Jews or Muslims. Where is this going to end? The only hope that we have is each of us using our voice whenever way we can to speak against it. And to mourn what happened into in that way look forward. And my faith we often say never again and never forget about the holocaust but how many stories have you covered that we both have tears in our eyes and can never again and never. And my only hope is that, out of this, everybody starts fighting the voice and using it.
BALDWIN: Thank you for that.
VINOGRAD: Thanks Brooke.
BALDWIN: Sam Vinograd. Thank you.
Before we go to break, we are hearing from leaders and hearing their reactions from this tragedy from our President Bill Clinton twitted this, this hour. I mourn those murdered at the Tree of Life Synagogue and pray for the wounded. We must all send an unequivocal message that the violence and hatred that has been unleashed and fanned across America will not be tolerated. It won't end until we stop it. We'll be right back.
[21:50:49] BALDWIN: The attack on the Pittsburgh Synagogue is sending shock waves certainly around the world. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attack and offer condolences to the U.S. Jewish community.
Meantime, in Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is heartbroken and appalled. And our correspondent Oren Liebermann is live for us this evening in Jerusalem. And Oren, you tell me. What's the reaction you're hearing there?
OREN LIEBERMANN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Brooke, we've heard so many responses from so many different Israeli Politicians, leaders, as well as Jewish community leaders who either live here or were here for some sort of vacation or some sort of trip. And the sentiment from all of them is very similar. An attack on a Jewish community anywhere is an attack on the entire Jewish community everywhere. And that is at the center of the messages we're seeing.
It was the middle of Sabbath services in Pittsburgh, seven hours ahead here, just the time zone differences. It was coming toward the end of the Sabbath. It had already been a difficult weekend here with a sharp escalation between Israel and Gaza, and that was already weighing on everyone's mind.
Then just as the Sabbath was coming to an end, news of the shooting at the Pittsburgh Synagogue came through here and that is when the messages started coming out including this one from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, ISRAELI PRIME MINISTER: I was heartbroken and appalled by the murderous attack on a Pittsburgh Synagogue today. The entire people of Israel grieve with the families of the dead. We stand together with the Jewish community of Pittsburgh. We stand together with the American people in the face of this horrendous anti- semitic brutality. And we all pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
LIEBERMANN: Israel is intended as a safe haven for Jews from all over the world where they can come and feel safe. And it is after you see an attack like this, an attack targeting Jews anywhere in the world, that you are reminded that there is still a need for that safe haven.
Israel's President, Reuben Rivlin, also issuing a message and he was in fact one of the first to put out a message at the end of the Sabbath here. I'll read you a part of it. It says, "We are thinking of our brothers and sisters, the whole house of Israel in this time of trouble, as we say in the morning prayers. We are thinking of the families of those who were murdered and praying for the quick recovery of those who were injured."
Brooke, a few thousand miles separates Pittsburgh from Israel, but you're seeing that distance basically disappear as all of Israel tries to reach out, tries to help in some sort of way to offer support, aid, prayers to the community of Pittsburgh. In fact, the Minister of Diaspora Affairs immediately left for Pittsburgh to see what he could do from Israel to the U.S. to Pittsburgh.
BALDWIN: Amazing. I was talking to one of the community leaders and head of the Jewish paper in this -- this Pittsburgh area and he was saying to me that the vigil that they held tonight inside this Presbyterian Church is the first of so many that are planned in that community. Can you tell me what events from your side of the, you know it certainly put your side of the see are planned to honor those lives lost in Pennsylvania.
LIEBERMANN: I have no doubt that there will be certain events planned. It just happened simply quite late here on Saturday night so, we haven't seen notifications of those events yet but in terms of where events like that might be, perhaps at the Western Wall plaza, either some sort of organized event or people coming to offer their own personalized prayers.
And then one of the more common places to hold an event, it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was some sort of memorial is in Tel Aviv's Central Rabin Square. In fact, that's where the Tel Aviv municipal building is. When we see terror attacks around the world, the municipal building is lit up in the country and the flag of the country of those attacks and that's what we're seeing tonight.
The Tel Aviv municipal building the lights are alternating between the flag of the U.S. and the flag of Israel to show that Israel here stands in solidarity with the U.S. tonight.
BALDWIN: Four o'clock in the morning where you are there. I'm sure as the sun begins to rise on Israel we will learn much more about plans to honor those 11 lives lost in Pittsburgh. Oren Liebermann, for now, thank you so much.
And just before we go to break here at CNN, I just want to take a moment for all of us to listen. To listen to the voices of this community, Squirrel Hill, as they talk about what happened today.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WENDELL HISSRICH, DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC SAFETY, ALLEGHENY COUNTY: These incidents usually occur in other cities. Today the nightmare has hit home here in the city of Pittsburgh.
[21:55:06] This is the most horrific crime scene I've seen in 22 years with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Members of the Tree of Life Synagogue conducting a peaceful service in their place of worship were brutally murdered by a gunman targeting them simply because of their faith.
ZACHARY WEISS, SON OF EYEWITNESS: My dad was indeed in the synagogue at the time that the active shooter entered the synagogue, and he thank goodness was able to escape.
RE. MIKE DOYLE (R), PENNSYLVANIA: This is a community that's strong and we're here for each other and we're going to get through this, but you know, it's just one of those things you don't think is going to happen where you live.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BADLWIN: Want to welcome our viewers here in the United States and all around the World. I'm Brooke Baldwin in New York, special coverage of this just absolute heartbreak and tragedy in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.
Eleven people were killed, six wounded after a gunman opened fire on worshipers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania earlier this morning. The FBI agent in charge calls it the most horrific crime scene he has ever witnessed. The anti-defamation league says it is likely the deadliest attack on the Jewish community in the history of the United States.
Police say the suspect is 46-year-old Robert Bowers. His social media accounts littered with anti-semitic and anti-immigrant views. He was arrested. He is alive but he is wounded, shot several times by the officers, those brave officers who ultimately took him down.
A source tells CNN the gunman made anti-Jewish comments during the shooting and in fact even after he was arrested. But I want to play this chilling 911 dispatch audio for you. This is from first responders in the synagogue.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Please be advised, suspect's currently injured. 93 yards, SWAT talking to him. Tell him to continue to crawl at this time.