Germany in shock after Halle shooting, Merkel attends vigil for victims

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel attended a vigil on Wednesday night in Berlin and expressed “solidarity for all Jews on the holy day of Yom Kippur”.

Two people were killed by a gunman attempting to enter a synagogue in the east German city of Halle.

Politicians and religious leaders condemned the attack and expressed their solidarity with Germany’s Jewish community.

Authorities believe the attack was motivated by anti-Semitism.


Two people killed in a shooting in Halle
Special forces policemen block a street in Wiedersdorf near Landsberg, Germany during the hunt for the Halle killer. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN 

Witnesses inside the synagogue say the shooter tried to force his way in through the door. Dozens of Jews inside had been observing Yom Kippur on Wednesday.

Authorities have arrested a 27-year-old German, Stephan B. and have indicated that they believe he acted alone.

Germany vs Argentina
Germany and Argentina observe a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the Halle/Saale attacks prior to the international friendly soccer match between Germany and Argentina in Dortmund, Germany, 09 October 2019. EPA-EFE/SASCHA STEINBACH

Police say the man had no previous arrests, but his targets suggest that he had anti-Semitic and xenophobic beliefs.

Dressed in combat gear, the attacker was also wearing a helmet with a camera, which he used to livestream the attack on Amazon’s streaming platform Twitch. During the video, which was quickly removed, the assailant ranted that the Holocaust had never happened as well as shouting xenophobic and misogynistic statements.

The suspect was apprehended by city police after he crashed his car.

Via DW

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