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Pittsburgh Penguins to Scrap Halloween Plans Tuesday Night So Fans Can Help Victims Instead

Sports team is stepping up in a major way to assist a community badly wounded by a madman

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The Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team has decided to scrap its plans for Halloween this year — and instead is joining the Pittsburgh community’s efforts to help the victims and the affected families of Saturday’s devastating shooting by holding a collection at Tuesday night’s game.

Fans will be given the opportunity to make donations when they enter the PPG Paints Arena before settling in to watch the Penguins face off against the New York Islanders.

The game starts at 7 p.m. EST on Tuesday evening.

Pittsburgh citizens have been rallying together in support of the victims of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood on Saturday — in which 11 people lost their lives, and six more were wounded — and the city’s beloved hockey team is no exception.

In addition to a pregame moment of silence in honor of the victims on Tuesday, the Penguins have canceled that night’s Halloween activities out of respect for the mourning families of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre.

“The Pittsburgh Penguins join the greater Pittsburgh community in standing up against this senseless violence and supporting the victims and families of the Tree of Life synagogue,” said Pittsburgh Penguins CEO David Morehouse in a written statement.

“Under these circumstances, we determined it was not appropriate to continue with our annual Halloween theme on Tuesday, so those activities have been canceled. The entire city has a heavy heart.”

Authorities have identified Robert D. Bowers, 46, as the suspected shooter of the Saturday synagogue massacre; he is in police custody.

Related: ‘Hatred Will Not Have a Place Anywhere’ — Pittsburgh Officials Reveal Massacre Details

“Today, we stand together as a community. [We’re] a community that rejects hatred and violence, a community where neighbors respect neighbors, where we embrace our religious diversity and we celebrate our differences.” U.S. Attorney Scott Brady told the media this weekend.

The U.S. attorney went on to praise the valiant efforts of the police officers who were present, along with the SWAT team members who courageously acted to hinder any further loss of life — and to take the shooter into custody.

“Under these circumstances, we determined it was not appropriate to continue with our annual Halloween theme on Tuesday, so those activities have been canceled. The entire city has a heavy heart.”

Federal charges against Bowers were filed Saturday night.

The complaint alleges that on Saturday, Bowers entered the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh while congregants were at worship for a baby-naming ceremony.

Bowers was armed with three Glock .357 handguns and an AR-15 rifle, said Brady.

Inside the synagogue, Bowers shot and killed 11 individuals and wounded two others.

Related: ‘All Jews Must Die’: What You Must Know About the Pittsburgh Synagogue Shooting

Bowers also fired at police and SWAT team members when the law enforcement officers arrived on the scene shortly afterward.

Four police officers were injured in that exchange of gunfire, three of whom were shot by Bowers.

Two of those killed were brothers; a married couple were also among the deceased.

The mayor of Pittsburgh, Bill Peduto, also spoke at the Saturday press conference. “To the victims’ families, to the victims’ friends, we are here for you as a community of one,” he said, in part, after the names of the 11 individuals killed in Saturday’s attack were released.

They range in age from 54 to 97.

Two of those killed were brothers; a married couple were also among the deceased.

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