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The Latest On Pittsburgh Shooting


Now to that developing story in Pittsburgh, where there has been a mass shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue. There are reports of multiple casualties. A suspect is in custody. We're joined now by NPR's Shannon Van Sant, who's been reporting on the shooting. Shannon, what have you been able to find out right now?

SHANNON VAN SANT, BYLINE: Well, this is what we've been able to confirm. There are multiple casualties at the synagogue and inside the synagogue, including at least three police officers. We still can't confirm the exact number of dead. But we do know that the suspect is in custody, and reports of a shooting reportedly started coming in at about 10:20 this morning.

SIMON: What do you know about the synagogue and the Squirrel Hill community?

VAN SANT: Well, the synagogue is a conservative congregation. It has a morning service on Saturday that starts at 9:45 a.m. And, according to the synagogue's website, its Rabbi Jeffrey Myers usually leads its Saturday's service. He writes essays on a number of issues for the synagogue's website. And, in July, one of his essays focused on - in part, on gun control. He wrote that, despite continuous calls for sensible gun control, our elected leaders in Washington knew that it would fade away in time. He said that he feared that the status quo would remain unchanged and shootings would resume. He said that he should not have to include in his daily morning prayers that God should watch over his wife and daughter and teachers and keep them safe.

SIMON: Of course, President Trump has expressed himself both on Twitter and in some remarks, apparently, on the tarmac at Andrews Air Force Base.

VAN SANT: Yeah. President Trump tweeted this morning that he was watching the events unfold. And he said it looked like there would be multiple fatalities. He also warned people to stay away from the area and said that law enforcement was on the scene.

SIMON: Stay away from the area because there has been a lockdown, continues as far as we know to be a shelter in place - order in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood and surrounding areas of Pittsburgh. Is that correct?

VAN SANT: That's right. From our understanding, the lockdown continues. They do have one suspect in custody. But details regarding the investigation, if there were other people involved, the continuing danger, the situation remain unknown.

SIMON: And we have been told there are - I hope I'm stating this, correctly - multiple fatalities, including, perhaps, six injuries, four of them police officers?

VAN SANT: That's right. We've been able to confirm six injuries, four police officers.

SIMON: All right. NPR's Shannon Van Sant, thanks so much for being with us. And we will be watching developments throughout the day and the remainder of our show and, certainly, on NPR programming later today. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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