German shooting spree is being investigated as a terrorist attack
The German Supreme Public Prosecutor's Office is investigating yesterday's shooting in Hanau as a suspected terrorist attack. Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reports that Peter Beuth, the Interior Minister of the German state of Hesse, where the tragedy happened, announced that development today.
Beuth said the gunman had xenophobic tendencies. He also confirmed the suspect is a 34-year-old German.
The media previously reported the gunman was a native of Hanau. In that town of 100 000, which lies about 20 kilometers from Frankfurt, the gunman shot dead nine people yesterday evening in two bars offering hookahs and injured other persons.
Several hours later, police found the gunman dead in his apartment, along with his mother, who was also dead. Beuth announced today that she had also been shot.
Beuth also told the media that the investigation is ongoing and that he cannot yet confirm who was among those in the bars at the time of the shootings. The daily Bild has reported that Kurds were among the victims in one of the bars where hookahs were being smoked, a kind of device that is especially favored in the Arab world.
German media previously reported that detectives were investigating a letter allegedly left behind by the perpetrator. According to the media, his radical right-wing motivation is documented there.
According to a video the suspect posted to YouTube several days ahead of his crime, he had xenophobic tendencies. DPA reports that he expressed negative views about migrants from Arab countries and Turkey there.
Minister Beuth also said the perpetrator was legally in possession of the weapon used and was a target shooter. Neither the identity nor the nationality of the victims has been officially revealed by the authorities yet.
The Czech Foreign Ministry tweeted this morning that according to the Czech Embassy in Berlin, no Czech citizens were among those affected by the tragedy, according to the latest information. Czech Foreign Minister Tomáš Petříček also expressed his condolences to the families of the victims and support for the town of Hanau.
The attacker killed nine people in two different bars offering hookahs in Hanau. He also injured others who were on the scene.
The first shooting was reported on Wednesday at around 22:00. Roughly five hours later, police surrounded the apartment of the suspect, which is located just a few hundred meters from the scene of one of the attacks.
Police found the man dead there along with another dead person who was apparently his mother. Many German politicians have already responded to the news.
A spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was a terrible crime and expressed her deep sympathy to the families of the victims. Other political representatives are condemning right-wing radicalism and terrorism.
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