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Police presence ordered at DC synagogues following fatal shooting in Pittsburgh

"In the face of hate, we stand united to love."
Credit: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar
People gather on a corner near the Tree of Life Synagogue where a shooter opened fire Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, injuring multiple people.

WASHINGTON -- Mayor Bowser ordered a police presence at synagogues in the District after multiple people were killed by a shooter at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.

“Today, our hearts are with the Jewish communities throughout the nation and our friends in Pittsburgh. As we learn more about this attack, we reiterate: ignorance and hate have no place in our society. An attack on one community is an attack on all of us and on the ideals we stand for and fight for every day,” Mayor Bowser wrote in a statement.

“In the face of hate, we stand united to love," the statement said.

The mayor also wrote that she is reaching out to community faith leaders.

Security is tightened at synagogues across the country as well.

"This event today is shattering. Shattering," Associate Director of Jewish Community Relations of Greater Washington Gulia Franklin Siegel said Saturday. "The reaction of the Jewish community today has been one of horror and grief and shock and really palpable pain. We can't normalize this type of event. We just can't."

Franklin Siegel said she has been in touch with local police across the area who have increased their presence at synagogues. She says her group is also raising money to enhance security measures at synagogues.

"It's obviously a very costly endeavor. And, the smaller congregations really don't have the financial means to be able to do those kinds of intensive upgrades," Franklin Siegel said. "We have been working day-in, day-out on enhanced security for years. The Jewish community takes security very seriously."

Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, a progressive Jewish group, hosted a vigil Saturday night in Lafayette Square outside the White House. A vigil is planned Monday at 6:30 p.m. by the Jewish Federation and Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington at Adas Israel.

The Holocaust Museum in D.C. reacted on Saturday, sending their thoughts and releasing a statement:

"Before opening fire, the alleged perpetrator reportedly yelled, "All Jews must die!" The Museum reminds all Americans of the dangers of unchecked hatred and antisemitism which must be confronted wherever they appear and calls on all Americans to actively work to promote social solidarity and respect the dignity of all individuals.

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum inspires citizens and leaders worldwide to confront hatred, prevent genocide, and promote human dignity."

RELATED: Suspect in custody after deadly Pittsburgh synagogue shooting

D.C. Police tweeted on Saturday, sending their condolences to those affected and writing that their officers will be paying “special attention” to synagogues in the area until further notice.

On Saturday, the President said that the synagogue didn’t “have any protection.”

A suspect is in custody after multiple fatalities in the shooting. Police officials said three officers were also shot.

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