crime scene
crime scene

The alleged gunman that shot and killed nine people in twin shootings in the western German city of Hanau late Wednesday had a “xenophobic motive,” police and officials said on Thursday.

The shooter, a 43-year-old German man, first attacked a shisha bar in central Hanau around 10 p.m. local time (2100 GMT) on Wednesday, before heading to another shisha bar about 2.5 km west and opening fires again.

Police said early Thursday on Twitter that the suspect was found dead at home with another body, and “there is no indication of other perpetrators.”

Peter Beuth, interior minister for the state of Hesse, later confirmed that witnesses and surveillance videos led the authorities to the suspect’s home near the second crime scene, where he was found dead near the body of his 72-year-old mother.

“Based on what we know now, there was definitely a xenophobic motive,” Beuth was quoted by German Press Agency dpa as saying. Beuth added that a website believed to belong to the suspect is under investigation.

The death toll in the shootings is now 11, including the shooter. Another person is seriously injured. The police said that the Hessian State Criminal Police Office is taking over the investigation due to references to a xenophobic motive.

“Racism is a poison, hate is a poison. And this poison exists in our society and is to blame for far too many crimes,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a statement on Hanau shootings, also referring to the murder of German politician Walter Luebcke and the anti-Semitic attack in Halle last year. “We oppose, with all our might, to those who split Germany,” she noted.

Merkel said that everything is being done to clarify the background of the crime.

“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 tweeted.

Hanau is about 20 km east of Frankfurt, with a population of about 100,000. Enditem

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