Victims of shooting rampage in Germany identified

Two people who were murdered in shooting rampage near Halle synagogue on Yom Kippur identified as Jana Lange, 40, and Kevin S., 20.

Elad Benari ,

People lay flowers as they mourn outside the synagogue in Halle
People lay flowers as they mourn outside the synagogue in Halle

The two people murdered in the shooting rampage near a synagogue in the German city of Halle on Yom Kippur were identified in local media on Thursday as Jana Lange, 40, and Kevin S., 20.

Lange, according to the reports, was walking home on Wednesday afternoon when she passed the synagogue that shooting suspect Stephan Balliet was trying to break into and was shot as she walked by.

Moments later, the killer drove to a kebab shop, where he shot dead Kevin S., who was on his lunch break from a nearby construction site where he worked as a painter.

The suspected gunman, Stephan Balliet, 27, was captured by police after Wednesday’s rampage. He was described on Thursday as a “frustrated, computer-obsessed loner” who lived with his mother.

Federal prosecutors have taken on the investigation after the attack was labeled an especially serious crime. They told the DPA news agency on Thursday they had secured evidence in a search of the shooter's home in the small village of Benndorf, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) west of Halle, or around 200 kilometers southwest of Berlin.

The chairman of the Jewish community in Halle said Balliet tried to break into the synagogue during prayer, but was blocked by security guards, preventing a larger death toll. Between 50 and 70 worshipers were inside the synagogue at the time of the attack, including 10 Americans.