2 killed in shooting in eastern Germany, 1 arrested

Thursday, 10 Oct, 2019

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with members of the Jewish community at a vigil outside the New Synagogue in Berlin, October 9, 2019. Shots were also reportedly fired in Landsberg, but it's not clear if the incidents are connected.

Witnesses and authorities say an assailant in the eastern German city of Halle tried but failed to force his way into a synagogue on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur.

They did not give any further information.

Halle police said they have a person in custody but have yet to identify the suspect.

Hundreds of special anti-terror police personnel had joined the hunt to arrests suspects in the cities of Halle and Leipzig. The German daily Tagesspiegel, citing security sources, reports that the police consider the shooter to be a "lone wolf attacker".

German public broadcaster MDR aired a video showing a man wearing a helmet and an olive-colored jacket getting out of a vehicle and firing four shots with a long-barreled gun. News agency dpa reported the body was lying opposite a synagogue, about 30 meters (yards) from the building.

"We barricaded the doors from inside and waited for the police", he said, adding that about 70 to 80 people were inside the synagogue observing Yom Kippur, known as the Day of Atonement which is marked by fasting and solemn prayer.

An employee at a nearby business, which has a clear view of the synagogue, told CNN that they heard several shots around 12:15 p.m. local time (6:15 a.m. ET).

"(The attacker) shot at least once in the shop, the man behind me must be dead. About five or six customers were, he said, with him inside and panic broke out. "I hid in the toilet".

"The others looked for the back entrance". I heard another loud bang outside, screaming but I don't know what it was. He said feminism was responsible for Western countries' declining birth rates which are then used as an excuse for mass immigration.

Police block a street near the shooting scene in Halle, Germany.