US amb. to Germany: 10 Americans in synagogue during shooting

Richard Grenell, US ambassador to Germany, said that all the Americans who were at the scene are 'safe and unharmed.'

Sara Rubenstein ,

Jewish man is escorted from from the site of a shooting in Halle
Jewish man is escorted from from the site of a shooting in Halle

According to the US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, there were 10 Americans inside the synagogue in Halle, Germany at the time of the shooting attack on Wednesday, on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.

Grenell wrote on Twitter on Wednesday evening that "all are safe and unharmed." He also shared a tweet from the U.S. Embassy in Berlin denouncing the attack, which left two dead and two seriously injured.

"This attack is an attack on all of us and the perpetrators must be held accountable," the US Embassy wrote. "We mourn the victims of this senseless violence."

“We’ve made it out with our lives, in health and amazing spirits,” wrote Rebecca Blady, a Jewish American, who was at the synagogue.

There were about 70 to 80 people inside the synagogue at the time, absorbed in the prayers of Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar. However, the door of the synagogue was locked and although the gunman shot at the door, he failed to force his way into the synagogue.

Frustrated, the gunman then fatally shot a woman passerby on the street and also shot a man dead inside a nearby kebab shop. The gunman livestreamed the attack from a helmet camera.

The gunman, a 27-year old German citizen named Stefan Balite, was arrested by the German police.