Jewish doctors and nurses saved the life of the suspected anti-Semitic mass killer even as he was screaming anti-Semitic sentiments in the hospital’s hallways.
What are the details?
Police shot the man suspected of carrying out the murder of 11 people at the Tree of Life Synagogue multiple times before he surrendered. After his surrender, the suspect was taken to nearby Allegheny General Hospital for treatment of his gunshot wounds.
Dr. Jeff Cohen, who is president of Allegheny General Hospital as well as a parishioner at the Tree of Life Synagogue, spoke to WJET-TV, where he recounted the moments following the massacre, and what it was like when the suspect was brought into the hospital.
“He was taken to my hospital and he’s shouting, ‘I want to kill all the Jews!’” Cohen said. “The first three people who took care of him were Jewish.”
Another nurse — whose father is a rabbi — had just entered the hospital from a mass casualty drill and took care of the suspect.
Cohen said that he was one of the very first professionals on the scene and was able to hear the gunfire from his home.
“I was standing there … and you could start hearing very quickly what was going on,” he explained.
What did the doctor say to the suspect?
Cohen said that it was simply his duty to care for sick people, no matter who they are or what they’ve done.
“We are here to take care of sick people. We’re not here to judge you. We’re not here to ask ‘Do you have insurance or do you not have insurance?’ We’re here to take care of people who need our help,” he said, later revealing that he’d had a conversation with the suspect after he was stabilized.
“When I stopped in, I asked [the suspect] how he was doing. Was he in pain? And he said no, he was fine,” Cohen said.
In response, the suspect reportedly asked Cohen who he was.
“I said I’m Dr. Cohen, president of the hospital. Then I turned around and left,” he explained. “The FBI agent who was guarding him said, ‘I don’t know if I could have done that.’ And I said, ‘If you were in my shoes, I’m sure you could.’”
Authorities charged the suspect with 29 federal charges in connection with Saturday’s massacre.
You can watch a video report here.