Community Issues

Pittsburgh Stands With New Zealand Massacre Victims

Six months since a synagogue shooting killed 11, Pittsburgh's mayor reaches out in solidarity and sympathy to Christchurch.

The New Zealand mosque massacre rekindled memories of similar tragedies around the world, including the synagogue massacre in Pittsburgh last October that killed 11 people.

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto offered condolences on the city's behalf. "The people of Pittsburgh are with you," said Peduto as part of a tweet to Christchurch, New Zealand Mayor Lianne Dalziel. Peduto added, "we will continue to stand united against all forms of hate."

A statement from Pittsburgh's Public Safety Department says Pittsburgh police have increased patrols at mosques in the city in the aftermath of the Christchurch shooting. Public Safety officials have also been in contact with local Islamic leaders. And Mayor Peduto responded "already on it" to a tweet asking him to "make sure to protect our Muslim community as we grieve with New Zealand."

According to the Associated Press, at least 49 people were killed and 20 were seriously injured in two mass shootings at Christchurch mosques. "Christchurch is a city that welcomes people from all cultures, religions and backgrounds and it breaks my heart to see this happen in our city," Mayor Dalziel said in a statement . "It is clear that an extremist moved here with the intention of carrying out a premeditated attack. The fact so many of our residents died is just devastating," she continued to say.

The White House also condemned the shootings. "The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," press secretary Sarah Sanders said Friday morning.

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