Mattis: Synagogue Shooter ‘Not a Man by Any Definition We Use' in DOD

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis / Getty Images
October 29, 2018

Defense Secretary James Mattis spoke in no uncertain terms about the man suspected of shooting and killing 11 people at a synagogue over the weekend.

"This individual — I won’t even call him a man — he’s the poorest excuse for a man you could ever come up with. Who would use a weapon in a house of worship, on unarmed innocent people and even shoot four policemen, then surrender himself. This is a coward. He is not a man by any definition that we use in the Department of Defense," Mattis said according to American Military News.

Authorities arrested Robert Bowers after they say he killed 11 people and wounded 6 others, including 4 police officers, at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday. He faces 29 different charges, including several counts of hate crimes.

"The U.S. military — what I expect from our troops and what I see of them — is men and women working respectfully alongside each other, people who look at other people’s religion as a private matter to be respected," Mattis added. "The U.S. military, I believe, represents what it’s all about in America where you work together to solve things. But also in the U.S. military, our job is to protect this democracy. We’re devoted, focused like a laser beam, on that."

Bowers entered the synagogue yelling, "All Jews must die," according to police sources who spoke to KDKA television.

Bowers made many anti-Semitic posts online. In one post, he criticized President Donald Trump for not stopping an "infestation" of Jews into the United States.

On Saturday morning, Bowers attacked the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society on social media, saying it "likes to bring invaders in that kill our people. I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I’m going in."