20, February 2020
A man suspected of fatally shooting nine people in the southwestern German city of Hanau was found dead at his home hours after the attacks in and outside two shisha bars, police said on Thursday.
Another body was discovered at the home of the man in Hanau, a city east of the German financial hub of Frankfurt, where the shootings happened.
Police gave no details of the suspected gunman but said: “there are currently no indications of further perpetrators.” They did not give details of his possible motive or how he died, or specify why they believe “with a high degree of probability” that he was the assailant.
The number of dead in the shootings Wednesday evening rose to nine, a police statement said.
Officers sealed off and searched the apartment in Hanau’s Kesselstadt district, near the scene of one of the shootings, after following up witness statements on a getaway car. Police said work to confirm the identities of the two bodies at the home was still under way, and they couldn’t immediately give details either on them or the identities of the victims of the earlier shootings.
Earlier Thursday, police said that eight people were killed and around five wounded. They said a dark vehicle was seen leaving the location of the first attack and another shooting was reported at a scene about 2.5 kilometres (or 1.5 miles) away.
‘A terrible evening’
Police officers swarmed central Hanau, cordoning off the area of one of the shootings as a helicopter hovered overhead. A car covered in thermal foil also could be seen, with shattered glass next to it. Forensic experts in white overalls collected evidence.
Shisha bars are places where people gather to smoke flavored tobacco from Middle Eastern water pipes.
“This was a terrible evening that will certainly occupy us for a long, long time and we will remember with sadness,” Hanau Mayor Claus Kaminsky told the Bild newspaper. Lawmaker Katja Leikert, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right party who represents Hanau in the German parliament, tweeted that it was “a real horror scenario for us all.”
The mass-selling newspaper also reported that the suspect was a German citizen and that ammunition and gun magazines were found in his car. He had a firearms hunting licence, it added.
Hanau is in Hesse state and has about 100,000 inhabitants.
(FRANCE 24 with AP and REUTERS)