Gunman kills nine in German shisha bar rampage

February 20, 2020 17:26
German special forces prepare to search an area after a shooting in Hanau near Frankfurt on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

A suspected right-wing extremist shot nine people dead in two shisha bars in an overnight rampage through a German city before, police believe, returning home and killing himself.

Federal prosecutors said they had taken charge of investigations into the attack - which happened late on Wednesday in Hanau, east of Frankfurt - due to indications it had an extremist motive.

Newspaper Bild said the suspect had expressed far-right views in a written confession.

In shisha bars, customers share flavored tobacco from a communal hookah, or water pipe. In Western countries, they are often owned and operated by people from the Middle East or South Asia, where use of the hookah is a centuries-old tradition.

Police said a second body was also found at the suspect’s home.

“There are no indications that other suspects were involved. One of the two dead people found is highly likely the perpetrator,” police said in a statement early on Thursday, adding that investigations into the identity of gunman and victims were ongoing.

Bild, Germany’s biggest selling daily newspaper, said without citing a source that the suspect also left a video claiming responsibility.

Police said their information suggested the gunman had committed suicide at his home after fleeing in a car.

Bild said the suspect was a German citizen and that ammunition and gun magazines were found in the vehicle. He had a firearms hunting license, it added. Reuters

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