Graffiti in Bratislava celebrates the August massacre shooter
Graffiti praising Ľubomír Harman, the man who murdered seven people with a machine gun and then committed suicide in August, has turned up in the Devínska Nová Ves quarter of Bratislava where he committed the crime. On the building in which most of his victims died, someone has written “Thank you Mr Harman – Citizens of DNV” and “Harman is a hero”. The association Devínska Inak reported the incident to the Czech Press Agency. Praise for Harman’s crime had already previously been expressed on several nationalist and neo-Nazi web pages.
Devínska Inak responded to the graffiti by filing criminal charges against an unidentified perpetrator. According to the association, the author of the graffiti is guilty of “praising a criminal act”.
Some contributors to online chat rooms have said that Harman used his machine gun to “liberate” his apartment building from the “problematic” family he murdered, or that the crime he committed is admired by many people. Extremists make no secret of their intolerance for the Roma minority; while initial news reports on the incident indicated Harman’s attack had targeted Roma, it turned out that only two of his victims were ethnic Roma while the rest were not. News server Romea.cz has also reported on a Facebook group praising Harman which includes members and sympathizers of the Workers’ Social Justice Party in the Czech Republic.
On 30 August, Harman murdered five members of one family inside their flat and the father of one of the victims in front of the building. He then engaged police in gunfire between buildings on the street, apparently randomly killing another woman who had stepped onto her balcony. At the end of his shooting spree, he committed suicide surrounded by police, allegedly after being injured by a police shooter. Because of his suicide, the exact motive for Harman’s crime will apparently never be determined. There is speculation that he had been in disputes with the neighbors he murdered.
The Slovak daily Pravda reported yesterday that an expert Slovak Police institution is said to be investigating whether police bullets may have hit people other than Harman during the August shootout. The street-level gunfire injured 15 people.
"Police are investigating all the facts involved in this case and working on multiple possible scenarios,” Pravda quoted police spokesperson Petra Hrášková as saying. The daily also reported that experts are testing approximately 360 pieces of evidence from the crime scene, including bullets and the victims’ clothing.
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