Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers pleads not guilty

Activists hold a banner during a demonstration organized by HIAS outside the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 14 2017

A USA federal jury has charged a Pennsylvania man with 44 counts, including hate crimes, for killing 11 and injuring six people during shootings at a synagogue in Pittsburgh last weekend, authorities announced Wednesday.

Funerals will be held for Sylvan Simon (86) his wife, Bernice (84) and for Richard Gottfried (65) who were killed on Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill district in the worst anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history.

Bowers, 46, had an AR-15 and three handguns with him inside Tree of Life Congregation synagogue Saturday when he allegedly opened fire on the congregation and police, according to federal authorities.

Six people were injured in the attack, including four police officers, two of whom remained hospitalized with gunshot wounds.

Under the expanded charges, he could face the death penalty, or life in prison without parole followed by a consecutive sentence of 535 years' imprisonment, the Justice Department said.

Thousands of mourners jammed a synagogue, a Jewish community center and a third, undisclosed site for the first in a weeklong series of funerals for victims of the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in USA history.

We already knew that Scott W. Brady, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, is seeking the death penalty in this case.

Peduto told CNN's Anderson Cooper that the city's safety resources would be occupied keeping the funeral and Jewish community centers safe, and not available to serve the extensive needs of a presidential visit.

People gather to protest the arrival of US President Donald Trump as he visits the Tree of Life synagogue on October 30, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

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Outside the synagogue, President Trump placed rocks, a Jewish funeral tradition, on symbolic markers with a Star of David for each victim.

The Simons were the "sweetest people you could imagine", a neighbor who lived next to them for almost 40 years said.

The rabbi of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh said Thursday he was "surprised by a warm and personal side" to President Donald Trump during their meeting earlier this week.

Mr Trump's visit was met with outrage from thousands of protestors, who took to the streets to march against the US President's arrival.

It was the worst attack on Jews in the nation's history.

Top congressional leaders from both political parties rejected invitations from Trump to join him in visiting.

Funerals for husband and wife Bernice and Sylvan Simon and Dr Richard Gottfried, a dentist who worked part-time at a clinic treating refugees and immigrants, were held on Thursday.

"I agree with the letter and even if he denounced it (white nationalism), I wouldn't believe him because he's a liar".

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