Police officers secure the site of a shooting attack in Halle, Germany, October 9 2019. Picture: REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke
Police officers secure the site of a shooting attack in Halle, Germany, October 9 2019. Picture: REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

Berlin — A gunman killed two people near a synagogue and a nearby kebab shop on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year, in an attack in the east German city of Halle that he livestreamed on a video-gaming platform.

Before he began shooting on Wednesday, the attacker also broadcast an antisemitic manifesto online.

Local media outlets said the perpetrator acted alone in the attacks, in which a woman was killed outside the synagogue and a man in the kebab shop. Police said they had detained one person, who was being treated for injuries. 

The video circulating online showed a young man with a shaven head reciting a short statement in broken English to a camera while sitting in a parked car.

A spokeswoman for Amazon’s video streaming subsidiary Twitch said footage of the shooting attack was livestreamed on the service.

“We worked with urgency to remove this content and will permanently suspend any accounts found to be posting or reposting content of this abhorrent act,” she said.

In the video, the man drove to the synagogue, found the gates shut, swore, and after failing to force the gates open, shot several rounds into a woman passer-by.

German magazines Spiegel and Focus Online reported that the suspect was a 27-year old German.

“According to the federal prosecutors’ office, there are enough indications that it was possibly a right-wing extremist motive,” interior minister Horst Seehofer said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the New Synagogue in Berlin, Germany, October 9 2019. Picture: REUTERS/Christian Mang
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrives at the New Synagogue in Berlin, Germany, October 9 2019. Picture: REUTERS/Christian Mang

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government voiced outrage over the attack on Yom Kippur and urged tougher action against antisemitic violence.

“That on the Day of Atonement a synagogue was shot at hits us in the heart,” foreign minister Heiko Maas wrote on Twitter. “We must all act against antisemitism in our country.”

In Berlin, Merkel attended an evening vigil at a historic synagogue in honour of the victims.

Politicians advised police to step up security at Jewish institutions in the capital.

Reuters