The first shooting occurred around 10pm when gunfire erupted at the Midnight shisha lounge in Hanau town centre
A gunman with suspected far-right links shot dead nine people, some of them migrants from Turkey, in an overnight rampage through a German city before killing himself, officials said.
Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned the attack on two shisha bars in Hanau, near Frankfurt. She told reporters it appeared to have been motivated by the “poison” of racism that was to blame for “too many crimes”, as Turkish officials called on her government to respond robustly.
The suspected killer, a 43-year-old German man held a firearms licence.
Police chased a car used to leave the scene of one shooting to its owner’s address, where they found his body and that of his 72-year-old mother, said Peter Beuth, Interior Minister of Hesse state, where Hanau is located. Federal prosecutors said they had taken charge of the case due to its likely extremist motive, and 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. Authorities have banned some far-right groups endorsing violence, while Germany’s post-war centrist political consensus has been undermined by growing support for the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, notably in the former-Communist eastern states.
HANAU REUTERS Feb 20