In Halle an der Saale, two people were killed and at least two injured at noon. According to police, a man was shot dead in a snack bar, a woman succumbed to her serious injuries near a cemetery. In addition, a man and a woman with gunshot wounds were admitted to the University Hospital - whether they are in mortal danger, is not known.
Previously, several shots had fallen in the Paulus district north of the old town. The police claims to be from several perpetrators, a suspect was caught. To date, the authorities made no possible motives.
One of the attackers apparently tried to invade the synagogue. According to information from the Jewish community, more than 70 people had gathered there - the security precautions therefore withstood the attack. At present believers around the world are commemorating Yom Kippur, the highest Jewish holiday.
Also in about 15 kilometers from Halle distant Landsberg fell according to the police shots. The situation center of the state government warned against a "firearms use in the area Landsberg". For the closer circumstances of the incident, there is no official information.
What does that mean?
The Federal Prosecutor's Office has taken over the investigation for murder. This step was due to the "special significance of the case," said a spokesman for the investigating authority. It is about "the internal security of the Federal Republic of Germany concerning violent crime".
The most important thing at a glance:
- The situation is still confusing, but there may be more than one offender. According to SPIEGEL information, a suspect fled the taxi and was arrested on the highway by officials.
- City administration and police called on the population not to leave buildings and apartments in Halle until further notice.
- According to eyewitnesses of the SPIEGEL, a culprit wore a helmet and clothes that resembled a combat gear.
- Max Privorozki, chairman of the Jewish Community in Halle, described to SPIEGEL how he experienced the attack in the synagogue. "The perpetrator shot several times on the door and also threw several Molotov cocktails, guns or grenades to penetrate, but the door was closed, God has protected us, the whole maybe took five to ten minutes," says the congregation chairman.
Which reactions are there?
- The federal government was upset. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert spoke of "terrible news". He very much hopes "that the police will be able to grab the perpetrator or the perpetrators as quickly as possible and that no other person will be endangered". There is no information about the possible backgrounds.
- Saxony-Anhalt's Prime Minister Reiner Haseloff (CDU) said of the attack: "It not only tore people out of our midst, it is also a cowardly attack on the peaceful coexistence in our country." The CDU politician announced to return prematurely from a conference in Brussels to Saxony-Anhalt.
- The European Parliament commemorated the victims with a minute's silence. In mind one is with Germany, the German police and with the Jewish community in Germany, said parliament president David Sassoli.