Germany shisha lounge shootings: All the latest updates
Chancellor raises alarm after suspected far-right attacker kills nine people at shisha lounges in Hanau.
At least nine people were killed late on Wednesday as a suspect went on a shooting rampage in Germany, targeting two separate shisha lounges in the western town of Hanau.
The suspect – a 43-year-old German man – and his mother were found dead in his apartment overnight on Thursday.
Police are attempting to identify the victims.
Federal prosecutors have said there are indications of a far-right motive.
Police said the two crime scenes were at Heumarkt, in the centre of Hanau, and Kurt-Schumacher-Platz in the western neighbourhood of Kesselstadt, about 2km away.
The suspect’s apartment was also in Kesselstadt.
Here are all the latest updates:
Thursday, February 20
Merkel condemns ‘poison’ of racism
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there was much to indicate racism motivated Hanau shootings.
She also said: “Racism is a poison, hate is a poison, and this poison exists in our society.”
“Everything will be done to investigate the circumstances of these terrible murders,” Merkel said.
Leader of Merkel’s party: Xenophobia is poisoning our society
Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said that xenophobia was a growing problem in Germany.
“It’s poison to see people as opponents, to see yourself as better than others, to see fellow citizens as foreigners – that’s a poison that is increasingly penetrating society and can ultimately lead to these crimes,” she said.
EU chief ‘deeply shocked’ by Germany shootings
“I am deeply shocked by the tragedy that took place last night in Hanau. My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims, to whom I want to extend my sincerest condolences. We mourn with you today,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, a former German government minister, tweeted.
EU Council head Charles Michel and European Parliament speaker David Sassoli echoed the sentiments in their own tweets.
German state minister: Suspect had xenophobic motive, his mother is dead
The interior minister of the German state of Hesse said that there was a xenophobic motive for the shooting in Hanau and said the suspect, a 43-year-old German man, and his mother, had been found dead with bullet wounds at his home.
Peter Beuth said investigations were ongoing as to whether there were any letters of confession. He added that he could not say who was visiting the shisha bars at the time of the attack.
Beuth said the perpetrator was in legal possession of arms and was a sports marksman.
Ethnic Turks among victims: Turkey
Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish presidency, said some of those killed were of Turkish origin.
Kalin said on Twitter: “We expect German authorities to show maximum effort to enlighten this case. Racisim is a collective cancer.”
Indications of far-right motive: Prosecutors
There are indications that a gunman who shot dead nine people in shisha bars in Hanau in an overnight rampage had a far-right motive, German federal prosecutors said.
“Federal prosecutors have taken over the investigation and there are indications of a right-wing extremist background,” said a spokesman for the prosecutors.
Local media says suspected attacker left letter and video confession
Bild, Germany’s biggest selling daily tabloid newspaper, said without citing a source that the suspected attacker left a letter and a video claiming responsibility and expressing extreme right-wing views.
It also said the man was a German citizen and that ammunition and gun magazines were found in his car.
He had a firearms hunting licence, the report said.
Police track suspect by car number plate
Michael Malkmus, South East Hesse police spokesperson: “Now we are here at another crime scene in Hanau Kesselstadt. The police came to the scene on the basis of information from witnesses who identified a vehicle in the previous crimes and were able to read a licence plate number.”
“As a result, special forces have located this address. Two people were found dead in the apartment, and it looks like that one of the dead is the suspect.”
Federal prosecutors taking charge of Germany shooting case
Federal prosecutors say they are taking charge of the investigation into the Hanau shootings.
The Federal Prosecutors Office in Karlsruhe, which handles serious crimes, said it planned to hold a news conference later on Thursday.
Hanau shooting: Nine dead after two shisha bar attacks in Germany
A man suspected of fatally shooting nine people in the German city of Hanau was found dead at his home early on Thursday, hours after the attacks in and outside two shisha lounges, police said.
Read more here.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA