Synagogue rampage suspect indicted on 2nd day of funerals

<p>The suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday, and members of a grief-stricken Jewish community endured another round of funerals for victims of the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history.</p>

News 12 Staff

Oct 31, 2018, 9:47 AM

Updated 2,028 days ago

Share:

By MARYCLAIRE DALE
Associated Press
PITTSBURGH (AP) - The suspect in the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday, and members of a grief-stricken Jewish community endured another round of funerals for victims of the worst anti-Semitic attack in American history.
Robert Bowers, a 46-year-old truck driver who authorities say raged against Jews as he gunned down 11 and wounded six, was charged in a 44-count indictment with murder, hate crimes and other offenses that could bring the death penalty. The indictment, which was expected, was announced on the second day of a weeklong series of funerals for congregants who perished in the mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue.
"Today begins the process of seeking justice for the victims of these hateful acts, and healing for the victims' families, the Jewish community, and our city," U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said in a statement. "Our office will spare no resource, and will work with professionalism, integrity and diligence, in a way that honors the memories of the victims."
One after another, services were held for three more victims of the rampage: Joyce Fienberg, 75; Melvin Wax, who was in his late 80s, and Irving Younger, 69.
"It can't be fixed," Robert Libman said at his sister's funeral, clutching his chest as he described the pain of losing her. "My sister is dead. My sister was murdered. There was no one I know like her. Pure goodness. ... She was the most tolerant and gentle person that I've ever known."
Fienberg's sons, Anthony, of Paris, and Howard, of Vienna, Virginia, said she spent five years caring for their father as he battled cancer, then, after his death a few years ago, devoted more of her time and energy to Tree of Life. She was a retired researcher at the University of Pittsburgh.
"My mom would be very angry that her funeral wasn't able to be at Tree of Life, and that her friends lost Saturday couldn't be here," Howard Fienberg said.
Younger had a small realty office in Squirrel Hill, the heart of Pittsburgh's Jewish community, and coached baseball for more than 20 years. He loved to talk, and would gladly share his life story or stop strangers on the street to show them pictures of his grandson in California. One friend called him "a kibbitzing, people-loving man."
Widowed a decade ago, Younger had a son and daughter in California, who waited all day Saturday to learn if he had survived. "That waiting stage was just unbearable," said his son, Jared, of Los Angeles. "Saturday was the most lonely day of my life."
Jared Younger said that when his sister contacted him, he had a feeling it was about his father. Irving Younger hadn't been in great health, undergoing bypass surgery last year. Jared Younger said his dad drank Diet Coke for 40 years, quipping he was "anti-water."
The day's other funeral was held for Wax, a retired accountant who was regarded as a core member of the congregation at New Light, which rented space in the lower level of Tree of Life.
A drained-looking Tree of Life Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, a survivor of the weekend shooting, hurried from service to service. "I can't imagine the stress he's under," said his predecessor, Rabbi Charles "Chuck" Diamond.
As Younger's service was wrapping up, Myers momentarily forgot to read a letter to his family that another rabbi had sent.
"After preparing for five funerals, you get a little verklempt," Myers said.
Bowers remained jailed without bail ahead of an arraignment scheduled for Thursday.
(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


More from News 12
3:37
Sources: State police search Massapequa Park home of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer

Sources: State police search Massapequa Park home of alleged Gilgo Beach serial killer

2:33
Sun returns with highs near 70 today; temps to climb near 80 midweek

Sun returns with highs near 70 today; temps to climb near 80 midweek

2:16
‘Just wish it would go away.’ Neighbors frustrated over police presence at Rex Heuermann’s home

‘Just wish it would go away.’ Neighbors frustrated over police presence at Rex Heuermann’s home

1:30
Renewed police presence at Heuermann house indicative of new search warrant

Renewed police presence at Heuermann house indicative of new search warrant

Guide: School Vote 2024 budgets and tax informaton

Guide: School Vote 2024 budgets and tax informaton

1:48
East Patchogue teen files lawsuit blaming Brookhaven Town following cancer diagnosis

East Patchogue teen files lawsuit blaming Brookhaven Town following cancer diagnosis

0:19
2 people injured after car overturns on Long Island Expressway in Melville

2 people injured after car overturns on Long Island Expressway in Melville

0:21
Police: Man in critical condition after being pulled from pool in West Hills

Police: Man in critical condition after being pulled from pool in West Hills

2:24
Main Street Long Island: Showcasing the best of Glen Cove

Main Street Long Island: Showcasing the best of Glen Cove

1:09
Paws & Pals: Dogs up for adoption at Save-A-Pet Animal Shelter on May 20

Paws & Pals: Dogs up for adoption at Save-A-Pet Animal Shelter on May 20

1:46
Pizza Strong: Massive fundraiser supports family of slain NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller

Pizza Strong: Massive fundraiser supports family of slain NYPD Detective Jonathan Diller

0:30
Portion of Southern State Parkway in West Babylon reopens following car accident

Portion of Southern State Parkway in West Babylon reopens following car accident

1:55
Northwell Health Walk at Jones Beach raises money to support women and children

Northwell Health Walk at Jones Beach raises money to support women and children

0:15
Superintendent: Swastika found on classroom desk at Harborfields High School

Superintendent: Swastika found on classroom desk at Harborfields High School

1:59
Greenlawn teen arrested, accused of making ‘threat of mass harm’ at Oldfield Middle School

Greenlawn teen arrested, accused of making ‘threat of mass harm’ at Oldfield Middle School

1:45
 Missed swim lessons due to COVID-19 may be contributing to rise in child drownings

Missed swim lessons due to COVID-19 may be contributing to rise in child drownings

0:51
Vet Fest in Farmingdale aims to support, encourage veterans who need help

Vet Fest in Farmingdale aims to support, encourage veterans who need help

0:17
Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody

Authorities: George Washington Bridge climber in custody

0:32
Police: 3 people arrested during State Liquor Authority compliance check at Huntington Station deli

Police: 3 people arrested during State Liquor Authority compliance check at Huntington Station deli

1:46
Hit-and-run on South Oyster Bay Rd. in Plainview leaves woman with concussion, 6 staples in head

Hit-and-run on South Oyster Bay Rd. in Plainview leaves woman with concussion, 6 staples in head