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Trump Visits Site of Deadly Mass Shooting in Pennsylvania


President Donald Trump and his wife Melania Trump place stones at a memorial outside for those killed at the Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Trump Visits Site of Deadly Mass Shooting in Pennsylvania
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The American president and his wife have visited the Jewish religious center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where a gunman killed 11 people on Saturday.

On Tuesday, Donald and Melania Trump spoke with the leader of the Tree of Life synagogue, Jeffrey Myers, and the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer. The Trumps laid stones on markers honoring the victims, a Jewish tradition.

Ivanka Trump, the president's daughter and her husband, Jared Kushner, were also in attendance. Both are Jewish.

Jared Kushner, center, and Ivanka Trump, left, greet Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, right, as they arrive with President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump outside Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. (AP Ph
Jared Kushner, center, and Ivanka Trump, left, greet Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, right, as they arrive with President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump outside Pittsburgh's Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018. (AP Ph

Nearby, a large crowd of demonstrators protested Trump’s visit. Some politicians and Jewish leaders had demanded the president stay away from Pittsburgh until he denounces white nationalism.

Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto, a member of the Democratic Party, said Trump should not come while families are holding funerals.

"If the president is looking to come to Pittsburgh," Peduto said, "I would ask that he not do so while we are burying the dead."

A participant in the march in memory of the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, holds a sign opposing U.S. President Donald Trump, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton
A participant in the march in memory of the victims of the Tree of Life Synagogue shooting, holds a sign opposing U.S. President Donald Trump, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S., October 30, 2018. REUTERS/Cathal McNaughton

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

The family of one of the victims also rejected meeting with the president. The family said it objected to a statement Trump made about the shooting. The president said an armed guard might have prevented the attack had one been deployed at the synagogue.

The man accused of the attack, Robert Bowers, appeared before a federal judge on Monday.

Officials say Bowers, who is from Florida, called out "All Jews must die," before he fired at the worshippers in Tree of Life.

This courtroom sketch depicts Robert Gregory Bowers, who was wounded in a gun battle with police as he appeared in a wheelchair at federal court on Oct. 29, 2018, in Pittsburgh.
This courtroom sketch depicts Robert Gregory Bowers, who was wounded in a gun battle with police as he appeared in a wheelchair at federal court on Oct. 29, 2018, in Pittsburgh.

​Bowers faces 29 federal charges, including some hate crimes. He could face the death sentence if found guilty.

The Anti-Defamation League has kept records on hatred and violence against Jews since the 1970s. It says the Pittsburgh shooting was the worst attack against the Jewish community in U.S. history.

Earlier Tuesday, families buried three victims of the attack.

A casket is carried out of Rodef Shalom Congregation after the funeral services for brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in Pittsburgh. The brothers were killed in the mass shooting Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue. (AP..
A casket is carried out of Rodef Shalom Congregation after the funeral services for brothers Cecil and David Rosenthal, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, in Pittsburgh. The brothers were killed in the mass shooting Saturday at the Tree of Life synagogue. (AP..

About 1,800 people turned out for the funerals of Cecil and David Rosenthal. The two brothers were loyal members of Tree of Life who would welcome worshippers and newcomers to the synagogue.

About 2,000 mourners attended the funeral of Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz. He was known for being friendly and always open to providing medical advice.

I’m Caty Weaver.

VOA News reported this story. Caty Weaver adapted it for VOA Learning English. Ashley Thompson was the editor.

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Words in This Story

synagogue - n. the house of worship and communal center of a Jewish congregation​

worshipper - n. a person who offers reverence to a divine being or supernatural power

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