A German Neo-Nazi shot and killed two while attempting to carry out a synagogue shooting in the city of Halle.
The shooter from Halle filmed his attack and streamed it on video game streaming platform Twitch, using a GoPro camera on his head. Before he shot, the shooter said in English: “The essence of all problems are the jews.”
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) October 9, 2019
He also gave a brief speech into the camera, railing against Jews and denying that the Holocaust happened.
The shooter was identified by media as neo-Nazi Stephan Balliet, 27.
In his stream he spoke to his audience, apologized that he was unable to enter the synagogue and kill more people. Approximately 2,200 people watched the livestream before Twitch removed it.
The shooting that left a man and a woman dead, and two more injured took place during Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. He said he deliberately chose Judaism’s holiest day Yom Kippur for the attack, arguing that “even ‘non-religious’ jews are often visiting the synagogue” on this date.
He used firearms and homemade explosives to try to blast his way into the building in Halle, northwest of Leipzig, and attack the estimated 50 people inside. When he failed to break through the security defenses he went on a rampage. Wielding at least two firearms he killed a woman outside the neighboring Jewish cemetery shortly before midday and then shot dead his second victim at a nearby kebab shop.
Today’s attack echoed the March mass shooting of Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand — which was streamed on Facebook Live.
The video has been removed from Twitch and other platforms, and it is still accessible in some Telegram channels. Extremism researcher Megan Squire reported that the video was also spread through the encrypted platform Telegram, with clips being viewed by upwards of 15,000 accounts.
How the Halle shooter's media content flowed through Telegram in < 30 minutes. There are two source channels, one for a long video, another for a short clip. Each video was amplified via "forwards" by smaller channels, shown in black. Total audience was ~15,625 accounts. pic.twitter.com/IX7E1Vqkf4
— megan squire (@MeganSquire0) October 9, 2019
Apparently, similarly to the Christchurch shooter, the Halle shooter also had a manifesto. “I originally planned to storm a mosque or an antifa ‘culture’ center, which are way less defended,” he said in the manifesto posted online on the internet.
BREAKING: PDF document, appearing to be manifesto of #Halle #Germany attacker Stephan Balliet, emerges online, showing pictures of the weapons and ammunition he used and reference to his live stream. States objective to "kill as many anti-whites as possible, Jews preferred." pic.twitter.com/IpYqY75ywW
— Rita Katz (@Rita_Katz) October 9, 2019
“A recording of the stream, which was automatically generated based on the account’s settings, was viewed by approximately 2,200 people in the 30 minutes before the video was flagged and removed from Twitch,” the platform, which is owned by Amazon, said.
Inside the synagogue, worshipers watched the attacker’s attempts to penetrate the building on the security cameras.
“We barricaded our doors from inside and waited for the police,” Jewish community leader Max Privorotzki told Stuttgarter Zeitung. “In between, we carried on with our service.”
After he failed to enter the synagogue, a woman passed by him, almost unfazed and rather surprised at how he was dressed. He lets her pass and then shoots her in the back with his improvised automatic weapon.
After that he goes a few streets down and sees a kebab shop.
“Doener. That’ll do,” he said.
He tosses one of the bombs inside, firing a final burst with the automatic before it jams.
From the shooter’s perspective, there is more wrestling with weapons and cursing as he attempts to harm the men cowering at the back of the shop, who are pleading for their lives.
After briefly stepping outside and scaring pedestrians, he returns to the shop where he executes one of the men at point-blank range with two shotgun blasts, cutting off his cry of “No!”
“At least I’ve demonstrated how useless improvised weapons are,” he mutters to himself and the camera.
The police cut off his first attempt at escape in the car, and he exchanges fire with them before being shot and falling to the ground. He then gets up, laments being shot and saying he’s bleeding after being struck in the neck.
“Sorry guys, that was it. A total loser…” he said, before throwing his broadcasting smartphone out of the window.
A spokeswoman for the Halle municipal government said one shooting took place in front of the synagogue on Humboldt Street and its accompanying cemetery, while a second burst of gunfire targeted the kebab bistro in the city in the province of Saxony.
Police had said in the early afternoon that two “perpetrators fled in a car”, urging residents to stay indoors and closing Halle’s main strain station. Almost six hours later, police lifted the lockdown, assessing that there was no longer acute danger. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer also indicated the attack had been done by only one person.
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