Justice Department to seek death penalty for Pittsburgh shooter

Justice Department files for death penalty for Robert Bowers, accused of killing 11 people in attack at Tree of Life Synagogue last year.

Elad Benari ,

Scene of Pittsburgh shooting
Scene of Pittsburgh shooting
Alexi Rosenfeld

The US Justice Department will seek the death penalty for Robert Bowers, the suspect in the mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh last year, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

The Justice Department filed for the death penalty on Monday.

Bowers is accused of killing 11 people in the shooting attack.

Bowers was armed with an AR-15 and three handguns and allegedly yelled “I want to kill all Jews” during the attack.

He was indicted on 44 counts at the end of October and later pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in a federal courtroom.

In January, a federal grand jury added 19 charges to the 44 counts previously levied against Bowers. 13 of the new counts are hate crime violations and the others accuse him of obstructing religious beliefs and discharging a firearm during crimes of violence.

Bowers pleaded not guilty to the new hate crimes charges as well.

The decision to seek the death penalty comes shortly after two of the three congregations that worshipped at Tree of Life said they wanted Bowers to serve life and avoid the death penalty.