Florida Governor Orders More Patrols After Pittsburgh Synagogue Killings

Florida's governor has ordered state troopers to increase patrols at religious institutions statewide in the wake of a mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

In a statement Saturday, Gov. Rick Scott said the shooting that killed 11 people at The Tree of Life Synagogue was "an act of pure evil and hatred."

Scott said the Florida Highway Patrol would work with local law enforcement agencies to bolster community safety. He said everyone deserved to express their religious beliefs safely and peacefully.

In a separate statement, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said his deputies would conduct extra patrols at Jewish centers and synagogues until further notice.

Demings called the Pittsburgh shooting "another senseless act of gun violence against a place of worship."

Miami Beach Police Department Chief Daniel Oates said his agency is aware of the Pittsburgh tragedy, adding that – though he would not discuss specific security measures as a matter of policy – his agency is working "closely with our religious institutions and have taken extra security measures out of an abundance of caution."

Oates told NBC 6 the protocol is a "natural precaution" the agency is taking.

The Florida Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said that an "attack on one synagogue is an attack on every mosque, church, temple and place of peace and worship in this country."

"We feel utterly sickened to learn that 11 of our Jewish brothers and sisters were killed in cold blood as they worshiped today by a man driven by hate," CAIR-Florida Executive Director Hassan Shibly said in a statement. "We offer our prayers and support to our Jewish brothers and sisters and demand elected officials take action to end the legitimization of hate in political discourse and adopt common-sense reforms to prevent such acts of terrorism from ever occurring.”

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us