'Killer stepped over my friend's body'

Survivor of Pittsburgh synagogue massacre recalls how gunman burst into service, shot man hiding with him.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Tree of Life congregation
Tree of Life congregation
Alexi Rosenfeld

One of the survivors of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre described the scene as he hid from the gunman's rampage.

Barry Werber, a congregant at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, hid in a dark storage closet as white supremacist Robert Bowers opened fire during morning prayers on Saturday, murdering 11 people.

"Let me be very honest, I was frightened, I was scared, I have a wife at home ill, and I have a son living in Squirrel Hill, and I didn’t want to leave them,” Werber told the Pittburgh Post-Gazette.

Werber hid in the same location as Melvin Wax, 88, who was killed in the attack. They and several others were pushed into the closet by synagogue Rabbi Jonathan Pearlman to protect them from Bowers' rampage.

Wax had been preparing to lead the services, as he often did at the synagogue.

Werber said the shooting started soon after the morning services began. “I’m just grateful we didn’t have more members there. We probably had a number of people on the way, but they hadn’t arrived yet.”

“Once the shooting started, we just wanted to stay alive," he added.

He said that Wax was killed when he opened the closet door after the initial shooting stopped, and that's when he was killed.

Werber further described how Bowers stepped over Wax's body and then stepped out.

He credited the arrival of the police with saving his life and the lives of the other survivors.

The massacre was the deadliest anti-Semitic shooting in American history.