PITTSBURGH — The Jewish nurse who treated Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect Robert Bowers when he arrived at the hospital is telling his side of the story.
Ari Mahler’s Facebook post has already been shared more than 125,000 times in just over 24 hours, KDKA reports.
In his powerful post, Mahler said he was singled out because of his faith as a child and notes reading “Die Jew. Love, Hitler” were stuffed in his locker at school.
Mahler now works as a trauma nurse and was at Allegheny General Hospital when Bowers was wheeled into the emergency room, yelling, “Death to all Jews.”
His post starts with “I am the Jewish nurse. Yes, that Jewish nurse.”
“To be honest, I didn’t see evil when I looked into Robert Bowers’ eyes. All I saw was a clear lack of depth, intelligence, and palpable amounts of confusion,” Mahler wrote.
Mahler says Bowers thanked him for saving him, showing him kindness and treating him the same way he would treat any other patient.
“This was the same Robert Bowers that just committed mass homicide. The Robert Bowers who instilled panic in my heart worrying my parents were two of his 11 victims less than an hour before his arrival,” Mahler wrote.
Mahler says he doesn’t think Bowers knew he was Jewish and he chose not to say anything and to show him empathy because he wanted Bowers to feel compassion.
“I felt that the best way to honor his victims was for a Jew to prove him wrong,” Mahler said.
Mahler ended his post by saying his actions came from love.
“Love as an action is more powerful than words, and love in the face of evil gives others hope,” Mahler wrote.
He’s received thousands of words of encouragement, thanks and support. He said he’s been asked to do interviews but he doesn’t know if that is the right or wrong thing to do.
He ended his post with “in the meantime, love one another.”