The gunman who killed nine people in shisha bars in Germany had a xenophobic motive and has been identified by federal prosecutors as Tobias R.
Police in Hanau found the 43-year-old dead in his flat, along with the body of his 72-year-old mother which also had gunshot wounds.
Image: Police officers secure one of the targets in the shooting
Interior minister Peter Beuth said the perpetrator was in legal possession of guns and was a sports marksman.
A website believed to belong to the suspect is being evaluated and Mr Beuth said: “Initial analysis of the webpage of the suspect indicate a xenophobic motivation.”
The attack is being treated as an act of domestic terrorism.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said the shootings exposed the “poison” of racism in German society and pledged to stand up against those who seek to divide the country.
German news agency dpa reported, citing unnamed security officials, that a written claim of responsibility and a video were found and are being examined by police.
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Bild daily reported that some of the victims were of Kurdish descent and others are thought to have been Turkish.
At least five people have also been injured following the incidents in the German city, east of Frankfurt.
Image: Police secure the suspect’s home
Police said the shootings took place at about 10pm local time on Wednesday.
Detectives said the Midnight shisha bar in the Heumarkt area of Hanau was targeted first, and witnesses reported hearing eight to nine gunshots.
Image: Forensic experts at the scene of the shooting
A dark vehicle was seen fleeing the scene.
Gunshots were then heard at the Arena Bar and Cafe in the Kurt-Schumacher-Platz area, which is a short distance away.
A damaged car covered in thermal foil and surrounded by shattered glass was seen near where the second shooting took place.
Image: The city of Hanau is near Frankfurt
Henry Faltin, a spokesman for police in southeastern Hesse state, where Hanau is located, declined to comment on a report by the Bild news site that ammunition was found in the suspect’s vehicle.
Can-Luca Frisenna, whose father runs a local shop, said he had come running to the scene after receiving a phone call saying his father and brother may have been caught up in the shooting.
“But then I saw them both – they were horrified and they were crying and everything,” he said.
“It is like being in a film, it’s like a bad joke, that someone is playing a joke on us. I can’t grasp yet everything that has happened.
Aftermath of attack that killed nine
“My colleagues, all my colleagues, they are like my family, they can’t understand it either, but I hope that there is a hope that god is with them.”
Officers said they had received information about a vehicle fleeing from the scene and traced it to the gunman’s home.
Image: The motive for the shooting is not clear
The flat was then blocked off and searched by special police forces.
Earlier in the night, heavily armed officers sealed off two streets and a police helicopter was deployed.
Germany’s political landscape has been polarised in recent years, with a wave of immigration and a slowing economy helping to fuel support for extremist groups at both ends of the spectrum.
In October, an anti-Semitic gunman opened fire outside a German synagogue on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, and killed two people as he livestreamed his attack.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “My thoughts are with the people of Germany as they grieve those lost in the terrible attack in Hanau last night.
“The UK stands with our German friends against this racist assault on our values.”
Source : Sky News