A gunman has opened fire at people inside a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US.
According to reports, there are multiple casualties inside the building, with emergency services arriving at the scene at around 10am local time.
The incident took place at the Tree of Life Congregation, in Pittsburgh’s Squirrel Hill neighbourhood. A service was taking place at the time.
A spokesperson for Pittsburgh police, Jason Lando, said:
We’re working the situation. It is imperative that the neighbours in the community surrounding the Tree of Life Synagogue stay in their houses and shelter in place.
Do not come out of your home right now. It is not safe.
— Lori Houy (@WPXI_Lori) October 27, 2018
According to police radio, the gunman has surrendered and is now in police custody, reports the BBC.
Reports state the gunman was a heavy-set, white male with a beard.
President Trump tweeted:
Watching the events unfolding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Law enforcement on the scene. People in Squirrel Hill area should remain sheltered.
Looks like multiple fatalities. Beware of active shooter. God Bless All! [sic]
Watching the events unfolding in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Law enforcement on the scene. People in Squirrel Hill area should remain sheltered. Looks like multiple fatalities. Beware of active shooter. God Bless All!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 27, 2018
According to CBS Pittsburgh, eight people have been killed and a number of others have been injured.
When police arrived at the scene, the gunman opened fire on them, reportedly shooting and injuring three officers.
Police have said they received a number of calls from people who barricaded themselves inside the building.
The shooting comes at a tense time in the US, less than two weeks before the mid-term elections and just days after bombs were sent to a number of high profile critics of Donald Trump. A 56-year-old man, Cesar Sayoc, has been arrested in connection with the bombs.
Our thoughts are with those affected at this difficult time.
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.