Watch CBS News

Pittsburgh's Tree of Life rabbi regrets not being able to help more people during shooting

Pittsburgh rabbi hailed as hero amid massacre
Pittsburgh rabbi hailed as hero wishes he "could have done more" 01:52

PITTSBURGH -- The Tree of Life's spiritual leader, Rabbi Jeffrey Myers, is being hailed as a hero for saving many of his synagogue congregants during Saturday's deadly attack. Myers had just begun his sermon when a gunman began shooting, eventually killing 11 people.

"CBS This Morning" co-host Bianna Golodryga asked Myers how he's coping with the trauma. He responded, "Badly."

"I could only save some. The people in the back of the sanctuary I could not save," Myers said.

For the families who he couldn't help, he said, he carries the regret with him. "And I will the rest of my life. That I could have done more, and that I was not able to do that, and that's my burden to carry," Myers said.

Federal prosecutors say they want to pursue the death penalty against the suspected gunman, 46-year-old Robert Bowers. He faces at least 29 federal charges including hate crimes.

"Can the shooter be forgiven?" Golodryga asked.

"Wow. Big question. I just don't know. The wounds are too open to answer that. I have to really think about that. Can you really forgive everybody for all evil is one of those big theological questions and right now I can't answer it," Myers said. 

Tree of Life rabbi emeritus calls shooting "unbelievable" 04:38
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.