The Justice Department will seek the death penalty for alleged Tree of Life synagogue shooter Robert Bowers, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. In a court filing Monday, the department said Bowers—who’s accused of killing 11 people at the Squirrel Hill synagogue last year—was eligible for the death penalty because he “targeted men and women participating in Jewish religious worship at the Tree of Life Synagogue.” The DOJ also claimed Bowers chose a synagogue in a neighborhood that was one of the “largest and oldest urban Jewish populations in the United States” in order to “maximize the devastation, amplify the harm of his crimes, and instill fear within the local, national, and international Jewish communities.” During the 20-minute shooting, Bowers, who had a history of making anti-Semitic statements, also injured six others, authorities said. He was hit with 29 federal charges after the shooting, and has since racked up more charges—including federal hate crime charges. Bowers has pleaded not guilty.
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