'That's the kind of person he was': Doctor who escaped Pittsburgh synagogue shooting returned to help others before he was killed, sources say

PITTSBURGH -- After escaping the shooting at Tree of Life synagogue, Dr. Jerry Rabinowitz turned around and went back in to help others before he was killed, multiple sources told WTAE.

"That doesn't surprise me at all. That's the kind of person he was," a friend, Steve DeFusco, told WTAE.

Rabinowitz was one of the eleven people who died in the shooting in Squirrel Hill, Pennsylvania on Saturday. The 66-year-old was a beloved personal physician in the Edgewood Borough of Allegheny County.

"I mean the hospital's in tears. I walk in the ICU and ICU doctors tear up and nurses when I talk to them. We're all just incredibly saddened and miss our Jerry," Dr. David Hall said.

Many of Rabinowitz's patients have said he was more than just a doctor. Former Allegheny County Deputy District Attorney Law Claus said in an email sent to his former co-workers on Sunday that Rabinowitz had treated him and his family for three decades.

"He was truly a trusted confidant and healer," Claus wrote, adding that Rabinowitz had an uplifting demeanor and would provide sage advice.

DeFusco said his friend should be remembered as "compassionate, loving, non-judgmental."

"Jerry leaves a trail that's not going to be forgotten," DeFusco said.

Rabinowitz is survived by his mother, wife and brother. Services are being held Tuesday morning.

WTAE contributed to this report.


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