The suspect in shootings at two bars in the central city of Hanau, a 43-year-old German, was found dead in his apartment alongside his mother.
HANAU, Germany — The man who was believed to have killed nine people when he opened fire on two bars in heavily immigrant neighborhoods in the central German city of Hanau was likely driven by a “xenophobic motive,” security officials said on Thursday.
The suspect, a 43-year-old German who has not been publicly identified, and his mother were both found dead with gunshot wounds in his apartment early Thursday, Peter Beuth, the interior minister for the central state of Hesse, told regional lawmakers in the state capital, Wiesbaden.
Federal prosecutors took over the investigation the shooting in Hanau, a city of about 95,000 people that is 10 miles east of Frankfurt, on suspicion that the shooting was a terrorist attack amid indications of “a far-right motive,” Mr. Beuth said.
Kemal Kocak, a cashier at a convenience store next to the Arena Cafe & Bar, the second to be attacked, said that he had arrived at the scene soon after the shootings and found a “catastrophe.”
Afghani, Bosnian, Pole, two Turks, a Roma,” said Mr. Kocak, who said he had known virtually all of the victims.
Mr. Beuth declined to confirm reports from German news organizations that the gunman had left a video and a letter about the attack, but said that the authorities were examining a website attributed to the suspect, who had not previously been on their radar, either as a far-right extremist or a criminal.FrankfurtHanau3 mi.5 km.
“Initial results point to a xenophobic motive,” Mr. Beuth said. The attacks were among the bloodiest in the country’s recent memory and come at a time of growing concern about an increasingly emboldened and violent far right.
“I condemn this act in sharpest terms. It is an attack on our free and democratic society,” Mr. Beuth told state lawmakers, who gathered to hold a moment of silence for the victims before canceling their planned session. Flags on public buildings across the state were ordered lowered to half-staff.
@ Source : NYTIMES