Eleven people were killed in shooting incidents on Wednesday night in the German town of Hanau near Frankfurt in what Bild newspaper said may have been a right-wing extremist attack.
The news prompted immediate soul searching in a nation gripped by concerns about the rise of the far right, which is upending the traditional political order in Europe’s biggest economy and disrupting the final stages of Angela Merkel’s four-term chancellorship.
Nine were killed in two separate incidents, while the suspected perpetrator and another person were found dead at a nearby home, police said in a statement. An investigation into the identities of the suspected killer and the victims is continuing, they added. The federal prosecutor has taken over the case, DPA reported, a sign of the gravity with which authorities are treating it.
The suspect, whom Bild identified as Tobias R., left behind a video and a letter, in which he refers to the “extermination of certain peoples” who Germany is unable to deport, the paper said. Some of the victims were of Kurdish origin, Bild added, without naming the source of its information.
The initial shots were fired at the “Midnight” shisha bar at the Heumarkt in the town center at around 10 p.m. local time, local media reported. After entering the bar’s smoking area, the shooter fired wildly at guests, killing five.
Many people were out watching the Champions League soccer match between German club RB Leipzig and English rivals Tottenham Hotspur, a local bar owner told Bloomberg.
The next incident was around 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away at the “Arena Bar & Cafe” in the Kesselstadt neighborhood. The corpse of the suspected shooter, who was thought to be acting alone, was later found in his apartment, also in Kesselstadt, along with that of another person, police said. Bild said the second victim was the killer’s mother.