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9 killed in Germany bar shootings; suspect and mother also dead

German media reports that an online video linked to the suspect indicated he may have had a far-right motive.
Credit: AP
Forensics investigate the scene after a shooting in central Hanau, Germany Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. Eight people were killed in shootings in the German city of Hanau on Wednesday evening, authorities said. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

HANAU, Germany — A 43-year-old German man shot and killed nine people at several locations in a Frankfurt suburb overnight in attacks that appear to have been motivated by far-right beliefs.

Officials said Thursday that the gunman first attacked a hookah bar in central Hanau at about 10 p.m. Wednesday, killing several people. Some of his victims are believed to be Turkish.

He then headed about a mile and a half west and opened fire again, claiming more victims.

A top state security official said the suspect's body was found near that of his 72-year-old mother at his registered address. Both had gunshot wounds and the weapon was found on the suspect.

An initial evaluation of a website believed to belong to the suspect indicates a xenophobic motivation, according to investigators. Authorities say the 43-year-old German suspect also posted a rant calling for the “complete extermination” of various races and cultures before the shooting.

Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday that the shootings exposed the “poison” of racism in Germany.

The bloodshed comes amid growing concerns about far-right violence in Germany and stepped-up efforts from authorities to crack down on it. 

Hanau is in southwestern Germany, about 12 miles east of Frankfurt. It has about 100,000 inhabitants.  

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