Incident Summary:

04/28/2000: In the second of six consecutive attacks near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, Richard Baumhammers fired six shots with a .357 magnum handgun at Beth El Congregation of the South Hills around 1:40 p.m. There were more than 50 children and staff in the building at the time of the attack, but no one was injured. Baumhammers, a white supremacist, painted a swastika and the word "Jew" on the temple and proceeded with his series of attacks targeting Jewish, Asian, and black people. Baumhammers had a history of racism and religious and anti-immigrant antipathy, and reportedly suffered from mental illness. He confessed to the crimes, his insanity defense was not successsful, and he was sentenced to death in May 2001.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:


Near Pittsburgh

Location Details:
1900 Cochran Rd

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Beth El Congregation of the South Hills
Specific Description Entrance
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Firearms Handgun
Weapon Details
A .357 magnum handgun
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?Yes
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
White supremacists/nationalists Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Personal claim)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 1
Number of Captured Perpetrators 1
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Cold killer's 20-mile trail leaves 5 dead," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 29, 2000.
Dennis B. Roddy, "What force drove Baumhammers? History of mental illness and racist politics weigh on murder trial," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, April 27, 2001.
Dennis B. Roddy, "Interviews show troubled mind; Baumhammers told psychologists what he did in chilling detail," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 2, 2001.