By Bill Hudson

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Eleven Stars of David stand outside Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh as a heartbreaking reminder.

Eight men and three women were killed during Shabbat morning services, including a married couple, two brothers and a doctor, all described as beloved pillars of the community — a community that’s home to a quarter of the city’s Jewish population.

The call for help came just before 10 a.m. on Saturday.

“The gentleman walks in with a long gun and I could see the jacket he had on,” said survivor Barry Werber.

Police say Robert Bowers was armed with an AR-15 style assault weapon and three glock handguns. He opened fire on the synagogue’s  main floor then went downstairs to where another congregation was gathering.

Rabbi Jeffrey Myers had just begun his sermon when the chaos broke out. He told everyone to lie on the floor and ushered out who he could.

“I helped pull out the people I could from the front, but alas, I had eight people in the back,” Myers said. “One fortunately survived. Seven of my congregates were shot dead in my sanctuary.”

Now, the tight-knit community begins to heal their broken hearts.

“Tree of Life has been in Pittsburgh for 154 years,” Myers said. “We’re not going anywhere. We will rebuild and we will be back stronger and better than ever. I will not let hate close down my building.”

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