LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — People from all faiths came together in Los Angeles Sunday to stand up in solidarity against hate in the wake of shooting massacre at a Pittsburgh synagogue over the weekend. Eleven people died after a gunman opened fire at The Tree of Life Synagogue in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood Saturday morning.
“I am a Jew, and I’m an American,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti told a group of interfaith mourners during a candlelight vigil outside the Federal Building in West L.A. “Stop the conspiracies. Stop the violence. Stop the hatred — not in this America.”
The Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles Sam Grundwerg told CBS2 News the said the gathering was “a call on all communities to stand up and fight against anti-semitism and against baseless hatred and senseless hatred everywhere.”
According to the 29-count criminal complaint against suspected shooter Robert Bowers, he told a SWAT operator while receiving medical treatment after the shooting that he wanted “all Jews to die” and that Jews were “committing genocide to his people.”
Bowers reportedly posted anti-Semitic threats and conspiracies online weeks before the shooting. Gab, a website that has promoted itself as a place for free expression, confirmed Bowers had posted such messages on its site. Bowers posted Saturday, “I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in.”
The victims ranged in age from 54 to 97. They are brothers David and Cecil Rosenthal, 54 and 59, respectively; Richard Gottfried, 65; Jerry Rabinowitz, 66; Irving Younger, 69; Daniel Stein, 71, Joyce Fienberg, 75; Melvin Wax, 88; Bernice Simon, 84; Sylvan Simon, 86; and Rose Mallinger, 97.
Members of the Interfaith Solidary Network also marched against hate to the Woodland Hills Presbyterian Church Sunday.
“The hate that people have is the fear that they have of people, and it’s not OK, it’s just not OK,” said marcher Linda Beck Kuban.
“We are walking for peace, we are walking for justice, we are bridging gaps and breaking down barriers,” echoed another woman present.
A report out of Cal State San Bernardino earlier this year found that hate crimes had increased in the 10 largest cities in the U.S., including Los Angeles, by over 12 percent.