German authorities capture shooting suspect
German authorities have reported the capture of a single suspect in connection with the shooting incident at the Halle synagogue earlier today, Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. Authorities now believe he acted alone.
According to witnesses, the suspect, now identified as Stephan Balliet, a 27-year-old German male wore dark military-style clothing and a metal helmet to which a video camera was mounted. Authorities claim he livestreamed the attack on the video site Twitch for 35 minutes.
The video site, owned by Amazon, has since removed the uploaded feed, but according to those that viewed it, the assailant could be heard making statements derogatory to women and foreigners as well as specifically denying the Holocaust. He then attempted unsuccessfully to gain entrance to the synagogue firing shots into the locked gates.
Finding the doors to the outside gates locked, he can be heard uttering several epithets before beginning his shooting rampage in the street, killing a woman in front of the synagogue and then launching an attack at the nearby kebab shop, which also resulted in the death of a male victim.
Two people – one man and one woman – were killed in the attack and two were injured by gunfire and transported to a nearby hospital, where their conditions were reported as stable.
In one video taken of the incident, the suspect could be seen parking his car in the middle of the street and firing his weapon, an assault-style rifle. He fired four shots before authorities returned fire 50 seconds later. He left the scene 17 seconds later as police began returning fire.
Another video of the incident shows the suspect walking on the suspect shooting his rifle well away from his vehicle.
Authorities speculate that Balliet wanted to utilize more destructive weapons on the synagogue had he been able to gain entrance to the complex. More than nine pounds of explosives were found in his car.