Robert Bowers
People leave flowers at a memorial outside of the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Oct. 28, 2018. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. attorney in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is seeking approval for the death penalty against shooting suspect Robert Bowers, who was accused of killing 11 people inside a busy Pittsburgh synagogue Saturday. He also wounded six people, including four law enforcement officers.

Attorney Scott Brady said Sunday that his office intends to pursue the death penalty against Bowers and has already begun the process of getting Attorney General Jeff Sessions' approval for it.

“The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania, Scott W. Brady, has initiated the approval process for seeking the death penalty against Pittsburgh synagogue shooting defendant, Robert Bowers," the attorney's office spokeswoman Margaret Philbin said in a statement.

"Following consultation with the Justice Department’s Capital Crimes Unit and a careful review of the matter based upon the facts and the law, the ultimate decision regarding capital charges rests with the U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions,” she added, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Pennsylvania allows capital punishment in case of serious crimes and uses lethal injection for its executions, however, an inmate can request electrocution. Death penalty may only be applied in cases where a defendant is found guilty of first-degree murder. As of October 2018, a total of 144 people have been executed in Pennsylvania.

The process of death penalty in Pennsylvania includes a separate hearing for the consideration of aggravating and mitigating circumstances. If one of the ten aggravating circumstances listed in the law and none of the eight mitigating factors are found to be present in the case, the death penalty will be approved. A judge then gives a formal sentencing.

Bowers was charged with 29 federal counts, including “obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death and use of a firearm to commit murder during a crime of violence” among others on Saturday. At the state level, he faces charges including “homicide, attempted homicide, aggravated assault and ethnic intimidation.”

Bowers walked into the Tree of Life synagogue armed with an AR-15 rifle and three Glock .357 handguns on Saturday and opened fire. He was in the synagogue for about 20 minutes. When he was leaving post the attack, he encountered a law enforcement officer and the two exchanged gunfire. He then surrendered and was taken into custody.

According to a complaint, while in custody, he told a SWAT team member that he wanted to “kill Jews” because “they’re committing genocide to my people.”

His social media posts also include anti-Semitic messages. His Gab profile header reads “jews are the children of satan.” Just hours before the shooting, he wrote on the social networking site, “I can't sit by and watch my people get slaughtered. Screw your optics, I'm going in."

“These alleged crimes are reprehensible and utterly repugnant to the values of this nation. Accordingly, the Department of Justice will file hate crimes and other criminal charges against the defendant, including charges that could lead to the death penalty,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Saturday, Daily Caller reported.

"When people do this, they should get the death penalty. And they shouldn't have to wait years and years. I think they should very much bring the death penalty into vogue,” President Donald Trump said Saturday, CBS News reported.

Calling the incident the "darkest day of Pittsburgh's history,” Mayor Bill Peduto said, "The Jewish community is the backbone, it is part of the fabric of Pittsburgh. We have been knocked down before, but we have always been able to stand back up because we stay together,” Sandiego Union-Tribune reported.