Select Page

What Happened:

A gunman, armed with an AR-15-style assault rifle and three handguns, opened fire during service at the Tree of Life Congregation, a Jewish synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 27, 2018. Shouting anti-Semitic slurs, he fatally shot eleven people and injured at least six others.

During a press conference, Pittsburgh’s Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich said: “These incidents usually occur in other cities. Today, the nightmare has hit home in the city of Pittsburgh.”

This massacre proves no community is immune to the threat of violence.

According to the New York Times:

In a rampage described as among the deadliest against the Jewish community in the United States, the assailant stormed into the Tree of Life Congregation, where worshipers had gathered in separate rooms to celebrate their faith, and shot indiscriminately into the crowd, shattering what had otherwise been a peaceful morning.

The massacre was at least the third mass shooting in a house of worship in three years. Last November, a gunman killed 26 worshipers at a church in Sutherland Springs, Tex., and in 2015, a white supremacist killed nine congregants in a church in Charleston, S.C.

“I’m afraid to say that we may be at the beginning of what has happened to Europe, the consistent anti-Semitic attacks,” said Rabbi Marvin Hier. “If it is not nipped in the bud,” he continued, “I am afraid the worst is yet to come.”

In an interview with Mark Levin, a partner at the architecture firm Levin/Brown & Associates, which has completed more than 160 projects for synagogues and churches in the U.S., said that his firm has built synagogues with bulletproof glass, and sometimes bomb-proof materials.

He also said a dozen synagogues in recent years have requested “panic buttons” that activates a security alert and summons police response.

How Mayday Safety could have helped:

Immediate notification.

The Mayday Safety app has a “panic button” that would have simultaneously alerted the entire synagogue congregation as well as local law enforcement and first responders that there was an active shooter in the building. This could have cut down on response time and saved lives.

Clear instructions.

Instead of relying on shouts from around the congregation regarding what to do, everyone could have already been trained on what to do during an emergency event. They could have been alerted to exactly what was going on and how to react.

Safety Checks/Status.

Every member of the congregation with the Mayday Safety app could have checked in “safe” so that leadership and first responders knew who needed help.

Nearby lockdown/notification.

Businesses and residents nearby could have immediately been alerted about the emergency, so police efforts were not being used to corral people away from the scene in the event the shooter exited the building or there were other shooters in the area. Those nearby could have also been notified to keep the roads clear for first responders.

We have an upcoming webinar that will demonstrate how Mayday Safety can help you protect your place of worship and manage emergencies when every second counts. Register now!