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Shooter targets synagogue in Pennsylvania on IRF day

ANI | Updated: Oct 27, 2018 21:32 IST

Pittsburgh [USA], Oct 27 (ANI): A shooter opened fire near the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday, leading to "multiple casualties" at the scene.
Allegheny County Sheriff's Deputy Kevin Kraus confirmed that authorities have responded to the situation, while Commander Jason Lando stated that police forces have been sent to the synagogue from where reports of gunfire emerged.
Lando also mentioned that there are "multiple casualties", according to CNN.
The Pennsylvania State Police tweeted that the shooter is in custody while urging everybody to "avoid the area".
Lando has asked the public in the area to practice caution, while saying, "It is imperative that the neighbors in the community surrounding the Tree of Life synagogue stay in their houses and shelter in place. Do not come out of your home right now. It is not safe."
The Pittsburgh Public Safety Twitter account also launched an alert and tweeted "There is an active shooter in the area of WILKINS and Shady. Avoid the area. More info will be released when it is available," while requesting the media to stop calling all Public Safety phones as it interfered with communications.
In the wake of the attack, US President Donald Trump had asked people to "beware of the active shooter". "Watching the events unfolding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Law enforcement on the scene. People in Squirrel Hill area should remain sheltered. Looks like multiple fatalities. Beware of active shooter. God Bless All!"
The Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, also took note of the situation and tweeted, " We are still learning details about the shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh but it is a serious situation. @PAStatePolice are assisting local first responders. Please stay away from the area and keep the congregants and law enforcement in your prayers."
In another tweet, Wolf said he is rushing to the scene of the crime.
Three police officers have been shot, while fatalities have been confirmed by Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
The shooting coincides with the International Religious Freedom Day, which celebrates the passage of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRF Act) that is a part of US foreign policy. (ANI)