In Halle, Germany, a gunman by the name of Stephan Balliet killed two people near a synagogue on Yom Kippur and was arrested.
Featured photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images (Courtesy of JTA)
In the city of Halle, Yom Kippur services on Wednesday were suddenly interrupted by shots being fired near a synagogue, killing two people.
AP News reported an attacker tried to enter the synagogue, but was repelled by the synagogue’s doors that were secured shut. The assailant was said to have fired shots and thrown grenades at the synagogue.
There were 51 worshippers, including 10 American youths, in the synagogue at the time of the attack. The gunman shot and killed 40-year-old Jana Lange at a nearby Jewish cemetery and threw a grenade at the kebab shop, and then fired at it, killing 20-year-old Kevin S.
Later, residents were given the all clear, and reports said that there was only one gunman.
CNN quoted a German security official as saying that the ideology driving the attack was from the far right.
SITE, a private intelligence group based in the United States, said on Twitter that the shooters had posted video on a gaming site and that one of them had said, in English, that the “root of all problems are Jews.”
The suspect was identified by the German press late Wednesday night as Stephan Balliet, a 27-year-old German from the nearby state of Saxony-Anhalt, according to The Telegraph. He fled in a car and later tried to hijack a taxi before being arrested.
Security was increased at synagogues around Germany in the wake of the attack.
— euronews (@euronews) October 9, 2019
Members of the European Parliament held a moment of silence for the victims.
This is a developing story. The Jewish Telegraphic Agency contributed to this report.