Suspect in attack on German synagogue charged

German prosecutors charge suspect in Yom Kippur attack on synagogue in Halle with murder and attempted murder.

Elad Benari ,

Police officers at site of shooting in Halle, Germany
Police officers at site of shooting in Halle, Germany

German prosecutors said on Tuesday they have charged the suspect in last year’s shooting attack on a synagogue in the eastern city of Halle with murder and attempted murder, among other offenses, The Associated Press.

The man in his late 20s attempted to attack the synagogue in Halle on Yom Kippur.

Around 50 people were in the synagogue when the assailant had tried to shoot his way into the building. When he was unable to do so, he murdered two people believed to be chosen at random – a woman he shot as she was walking by and an employee of a kebab shop to which drove moments later.

The man, who was previously unknown to police, posted an anti-Semitic screed before the attack and broadcast the shooting live on a popular gaming site.

After the attack he fled the city, wounding another two people in a small town near Halle where he abandoned his car and stole a taxi to drive onward. He was arrested about an hour and a half after the attack as he got out of the taxi, which had been in an accident.

Federal prosecutors said the suspect, whom they identified only as Stephan B. in line with German privacy rules, was indicted on two counts of murder and 68 counts of attempted murder, along with other charges including bodily harm and incitement.

The indictment was filed April 16 at the state court in Naumburg. It wasn’t immediately clear when a trial might open.

The suspect was armed with eight firearms, several explosive devices, a helmet and a protective vest. Prosecutors have said the weapons were apparently homemade.

The gunman has been described as a “frustrated, computer-obsessed loner” who lived with his mother.