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Hate crime charges filed against suspect in Pittsburgh synagogue mass murder

The suspect in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's mass murder has been charged with federal crimes. (BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Authorities have charged the suspect in Saturday's mass murder at a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, synagogue with 29 federal charges.

The suspected killer, who reportedly made repeated anti-Semitic threats online, took the lives of at least 11 people during Saturday services at the synagogue, and injured several more.

According to USA Today, the victims' ages range between 45 and 97 years old.

Four police officers were injured in addition to others.

The suspect was taken into custody at the scene after surrendering, shortly after the heinous act.

Investigators believe that the suspect acted alone.

What are the details?

On Saturday, the Department of Justice announced that they'd charged the suspect with 29 federal counts, including 11 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder during a crime of violence.

The Department of Justice charged the suspect with 11 counts of criminal homicide, and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation. Other charges include 11 counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death, four counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer, and three counts of use and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence.

The mass killing is being investigated as a federal hate crime. If convicted, the suspect could face the death penalty.

Robert Jones, who is head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Pittsburgh office, said that the synagogue congregants were "brutally murdered by a gunman targeting them simply because of their faith."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions also issued a statement on the massacre.

"Today 11 innocent people were suddenly and viciously murdered during religious services," Sessions said. "These alleged crimes are reprehensible and utterly repugnant to the values of this nation."

Sessions went on to thank first responders and officers for their service.

"These officers ran to danger to save others, which reflects the highest traditions of policing in this country," Sessions added. "There can be no doubt that they saved lives today."

President Donald Trump condemned the massacre on Saturday, and noted that if an armed guard had been present inside the synagogue, perhaps the carnage would have been less, if not stopped altogether. Trump also said that the U.S. should tighten up laws on the death penalty.

"When people do this, they should get the death penalty," Trump said in remarks made at Joint Base Andrews on Saturday.

The Anti-Defamation league issued statement noting that the Pittsburgh attack is the deadliest attack against the Jewish community in U.S. history.

Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the ADL, issued a statement on behalf of the organization.

"Our hearts break for the families of those killed and injured at the Tree of Life Synagogue, and for the entire Jewish community of Pittsburgh," Greenblatt said. "As we mourn those lost and search for answers, ADL will remain steadfast in its mission to fight anti-Semitism wherever and whenever it may occur."

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