Gunman who killed 11 people in US synagogue attack found guilty on 63 charges

16 June 2023, 17:34 | Updated: 16 June 2023, 22:49

Robert Bowers, 50, has been found guilty of murder after he shot 11 people at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue on 27 October 2018
Robert Bowers, 50, has been found guilty of murder after he shot 11 people at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue on 27 October 2018. Picture: Alamy

By Jenny Medlicott

A man who shot 11 people in a Pittsburgh synagogue in 2018 has been found guilty on all 63 federal charges in what has been described as the worst attack on Jews in US history.

Robert Bowers, 50, has been found guilty of murder after he shot 11 people at the Pittsburgh Tree of Life synagogue on 27 October 2018.

Bowers, a truck driver, was convicted of 11 counts of obstruction of free exercise of religious beliefs causing death, 11 counts of using a firearm to commit murder, 11 counts of hate crime resulting in death and more.

His convictions mean he will now move onto a separate penalty phase where the jury will listen to additional evidence to determine whether to issue the death penalty.

Listen and subscribe to Unprecedented: Inside Downing Street on Global Player

The penalty phase is expected to last several weeks before a verdict is reached.

The defendant’s own lawyers reportedly admitted in the trial’s early stages that Bowers had attacked and killed worshippers.

Bowers’ lawyers had pushed for a guilty plea in exchange for a life sentence but the offer was refused by prosecutors who wanted to go ahead with an additional penalty trial in pursuit of the death penalty.

Read More: Pictured: US woman, 21, killed after she was pushed down castle ravine - as friend, 22, saved by tree

Robert Bowers, 50, could face the death penalty.
Robert Bowers, 50, could face the death penalty. Picture: Alamy

It was reported that the pursuit of this decision was supported by a majority of the victims’ families.

Courts heard during the trial that Bowers turned the synagogue into a “hunting ground” as he deliberately targeted victims because of their religion.

Read More: 'She didn’t stand a chance,’ says woman who watched her mother being mauled to death by American bulldog

He killed 11 but also shot and wounded seven, which included five police officers who were responding to the incident.

It emerged in the trial that Bowers had expressed an overtly antisemitic attitude online, as he had often shared or liked content propagating such views, including content related to the Holocaust.

His lawyers are reportedly planning to present evidence at the separate trial to show that he suffers from schizophrenia, epilepsy and brain impairments.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Average energy bills will fall from April

Energy bills to fall from April as price cap drops to lowest level in two years

Beau Lamarre has been charged with murdering his ex-lover and his boyfriend

Police officer accused of murdering missing TV presenter ex-lover and his boyfriend and dumping their bodies

Ian Elliott has been jailed

Millionaire philanthropist who called himself Boss jailed after drugging and raping boys and young men at home

Two years of turmoil: How British support has bolstered Ukraine to resist Russian invasion

Two years of turmoil: British support has bolstered Ukraine to resist Russian invasion, but more help is needed

At least four people have died in the Valencia fire

Horror as four people die and 19 missing after fire in two tower blocks in Valencia traps residents on balconies

The spacecraft Odysseus moon lander touched down late on Thursday night

'Welcome to the moon': US lunar lander Odysseus successfully touches down in 'giant leap forward for humanity'

APTOPIX Spain Fire

Four dead and 19 missing after fire engulfs two buildings in Valencia

The UK and EU are set to sign a new agreement to stop small boats crossing the Channel

UK to sign new small boats deal with EU in bid to stop migrants from crossing Channel

AT&T customers were unable to send texts, access the internet or make calls, even to emergency services via 911.

FBI 'urgently investigating' whether AT&T outage was a cyberattack after thousands of customers hit by blackout

Divorce rates are at their lowest level in 50 years

Divorce rates plummet to lowest level in 50 years ‘due to cost-of-living crisis’

Reddit logo on a mobile phone

Reddit strikes deal allowing Google to train AI models on its posts

The fire in Valencia

People injured as fire engulfs two buildings in Spanish city of Valencia

Two residential buildings are on fire in Valencia

Huge fire rips through two apartment blocks in Valencia leaving residents trapped on their balconies

An Israeli strike destroyed buildings in Rafah

‘Encouraging’ signs in Middle East ceasefire efforts as US envoy visits

Flowers next to a portrait of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny

Alexei Navalny’s mother says she is resisting pressure to agree to secret burial

Former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro arrives at Federal Police headquarters in Brasilia, Brazil

Ex-Brazilian president Bolsonaro meets with police as part of coup allegations