Home Emergency Management News EDM Monday Briefing: Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue Being Investigated As Hate Crime

EDM Monday Briefing: Mass Shooting at Pittsburgh Synagogue Being Investigated As Hate Crime


Emergency and disaster management briefing for October 29, 2018: A mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Saturday that killed 11 and injured 6 is being investigated as a hate crime against Jews, officials say there are likely no survivors following an Indonesian Lion Air plane crash early Monday, an armed citizen shot and killed a masked gunman that opened fire at a McDonald's Restaurant in Alabama, the first flu-related deaths of the season are being reported in several states, President Trump declared a federal disaster in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands following a direct hit by Super Typhoon Yutu, the suspect arrested for allegedly sending explosive devices to high profile individuals across the country is to have his first court appearance Monday, the Philippines evacuates coastal towns and issues red alerts for residents ahead of Tuesday's predicted landfall for Typhoon Yutu, and Hurricane Oscar forms in the Atlantic Ocean as the season's eighth named storm.

  1. Eleven people are dead and six others are injured, including four police officers who are in serious condition, following a mass shooting Saturday at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania, just outside of Pittsburgh. Authorities stated that the alleged synagogue shooter, Robert Bowers, 46, was believed to be acting alone, and was shot multiple times by police and taken to an area hospital where he was listed in fair but stable condition. The shooting is being investigated as a hate crime, since Bowers allegedly stated that "all Jews needed to die."   
  2. All 189 souls on board an Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 are suspected lost after the airplane crashed into the sea early Monday morning, shortly after take off, and so far, a total of six bodies have been recovered. The crew called air traffic control and requested to return to the airport, about 3 minutes (12 miles out) after take off--but never stated there was any kind of emergency--then disappeared off radar about 10 minutes later. The airplane, a Boeing 737 Max 8 (737-800) was at 5,200 feet, then it disappeared off radar, and according to data on FlightAware, its last known speed registered at approximately 441 mph.  
  3. Three people were shot when a masked gunman entered a McDonald's in Alabama late Sunday night and opened fire. A dad was just leaving the restaurant with his two sons around 10:45 p.m, when the masked gunman came in and opened fire, and the armed father pulled out his own gun and returned fire. One of the teenage boys was shot, and so was the father, but the armed dad shot the gunman, who later died at the hospital. Police stated that they are not certain of the masked gunman's motive, whether it was a robbery or to target an employee, but they do not expect the father to face charges in the incident.   
  4. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the 1918 flu pandemic and the first flu-related deaths of the season have already been reported, including two children, one from Florida and another in New York City--a stark reminder that the flu can be deadly. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that in 2017, nearly 80,000 people died due to consequences of the flu, with 183 of those deaths being children. Health officials are urging everyone to get the flu shot, which has been updated to defend against last's year strain of H3N2, and Influenza B.  
  5. President Trump declared a major disaster in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands following a devastating hit by Super Typhoon Yutu--with 180 mph sustained winds--last week. The declaration releases federal resources to the hard hit islands, including hundreds of military and other personnel, all led by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The typhoon knocked out power and shutdown water supplies in Saipan and Tinian, almost completely destroyed neighborhoods, and damaged schools, vehicles, homes, and businesses, caused one death and injured at least 133 people.  
  6. The suspect arrested Friday for mailing explosive devices to former president's, high profile politicians, and others, is due in court Monday afternoon for his first hearing. Cesar Sayoc, 56, was arrested in Florida on Friday, after he was identified by investigators through fingerprints and DNA evidence. Sayoc faces five federal charges, and faces more than 50 years in jail if convicted of all the charges related to the explosive devices he sent to recipients across the country.  
  7. Ahead of Typhoon Yutu, Philippines officials were evacuating residents in coastal towns and issuing red alerts for mountain villages for potential landslides. Yutu, downgraded to a the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane with sustained winds of approximately 93 mph, is set to impact the Philippines on Tuesday, making it the 18th typhoon to hit the island nation this year. Across several provinces in the nation, all boat services were halted, schools were suspended, and fisherman were warned against going to sea, as storm surges of nearly 10 feet (3 meters) are expected, along with heavy rains and high winds.  
  8. Hurricane Oscar, the season's eighth named storm in the Atlantic Ocean, has formed about 660 miles southeast of Bermuda, and is moving to the west-northwest at 7 mph. The storm, a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mph winds that extend out only about 15 miles, is expected to increase in strength through Tuesday while moving quickly to the northeast through the middle of the week. No watches or warnings have been issued by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as Oscar is not expected to impact land. 

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.