Officers wounded in Pittsburgh synagogue attack thank Jewish community for support


(JTA) — Police officers involved in the response to last year’s attack on Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, some still recovering from injuries they sustained, thanked the city’s Jewish community for its support.

Officers Michael Smidga, John Persin and Tyler Pashel are all back at work. Pittsburgh Police Officer Dan Mead and SWAT Officers Anthony Burke and Timothy Matson are still in the process of recovering, KDKA 2 CBS Pittsburgh reported Thursday.

They all conveyed their sentiments in letters they wrote ahead of Sunday’s one year anniversary of the attack that left 11 victims dead and six wounded.

“There’s no reason why I should still be living, but I am and I want to thank everyone for everything they did and continue to do to support me,” Mead wrote. “I want to thank the Jewish Community, my family including my sister Diane and my girlfriend Lisa, Pittsburgh Police and all the other police departments, the firemen, the medics, the doctors — everybody.

“The Jewish Community’s support and the ways they have shown their appreciation — I’m not used to that,” Mead, who was shot in the hand, also wrote.

Burke, who was also shot in the hand, wrote a note that read: “I would be remiss if I didn’t specifically thank the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh for their enormous and unparalleled support, without which the burden of everyday life would be unbearable. I sincerely cannot thank you enough.”

Read the rest of the officers’ letters here.

Recommended from JTA