The police officers wounded taking down the Pittsburgh synagogue gunman were identified. Three have been released from hospital.
By Benjamin Kerstein, The Algemeiner
The six police officers wounded while subduing the gunman who murdered 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh on Saturday were identified on Monday.
According to The Daily Mail, the officers are John Persin, Michael Smigda, Tyler Pashel, Dan Mead, Tim Matson, and Anthony Burke.
Persin, Smigda, and Pashel have been released from the hospital after being treated for their wounds. The other three remain hospitalized. At least one is in critical condition.
Two of the officers confronted gunman Robert Bowers at the front door of the synagogue shortly after he opened fire on congregants. One officer was wounded in the hand and the other lightly injured by debris. Bowers then retreated back into the synagogue, and SWAT team officers later confronted him on the third floor.
After being shot several times, Bowers surrendered to police. He told the arresting officers that he wanted all Jews to die.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette described wounded SWAT team officer Timothy Matson as a courageous and good-humored man, who was cracking jokes in the hospital.
“We were in his hospital room today, visiting, and as soon as we walk in he’s already cracking jokes,” Commander Jason Lando was quoted saying. “He’s in that situation, where his life is the one in danger, and everyone is so worried about him — but he’s cracking jokes and it makes everyone feel better.”
Lando described Matson as remarkably cool-headed under fire, saying, “When bullets are flying and people’s lives are in danger, Tim Matson is the guy you want going through the door. He’s the guy who goes in and calmly gets the job done.”
Bob Swartzwelder, president of the Fraternal Order of Police Fort Pitt Lodge No. 1, said of all the officers involved, “They were heroic. They engaged in a substantial gunfight at the doorway, they engaged and suffered some serious injuries, both patrol and SWAT, at great peril to themselves.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up on Matson’s behalf. Donations will go to paying the costs of his recovery.