A 40-year-old music lover and a 20-year-old decorator have been revealed as the two people murdered by the German synagogue shooter in Halle.
Jana Lange, 40, was gunned down after scolding the Yom Kippur shooter as he tried and failed to force his way inside the synagogue yesterday.
Moments later, the killer drove to a kebab shop where he shot dead 20-year-old football fan Kevin S, who had been working at a building site nearby.
Today the suspect was escorted in a police helicopter with a white bandage on his neck as German authorities said he had intended to carry out a ‘massacre’.
Halle residents held a candlelit vigil this evening as questions were raised about how Stephan Balliet, 27, had managed to assemble nearly nine pounds of ‘apparently homemade’ explosives.
‘What we experienced yesterday was terror,’ said Germany’s chief prosecutor Peter Frank. ‘The suspect, Stephan B., aimed to carry out a massacre in the synagogue in Halle.’
The suspect, who livestreamed the attack on Amazon-owned site Twitch while ranting about Jews and immigration, ‘wanted to create a worldwide effect’ and encourage others to imitate him, the prosecutor added.
Music fan Jana Lange (left) and 20-year-old painter and decorator Kevin S (right) have been revealed as the two people murdered by the German synagogue shooter in Halle
Mourners light candles in Halle on Thursday evening, outside the synagogue where the gunman tried to force his way in
Mourners leave the Pauluskirche in Halle after a vigil for the victims of the anti-Semitic shootings in the city on Wednesday
Balliet is escorted by special police officers after allegedly attempting to carry out a massacre on the synagogue
Special police officers escort suspected neo-Nazi Stephan Balliet from a helicopter to his arraignment at the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe, Germany on Thursday. He was escorted by police officers from a helicopter to his arraignment on Thursday ahead of an appearance in court, and had a white bandage on his neck from where he was injured the day before
Balliet is accused of double murder and attempted murder in nine cases, according to the German Attorney General
Stephan Balliet, 27, has been identified as the German synagogue attacker. His father described him as an angry loner who was always online and ‘always blamed everyone else’ for his problems
Balliet shot two people dead and wounded at least two others in Halle, Germany, on Wednesday after trying and failing to massacre worshippers inside the city’s synagogue
The first victim, Jana Lange, was described in German media as a ‘warm and funny’ 40-year-old who could not work for medical reasons and devoted her time to music and collecting autographs.
She frequently shared pictures of performers she had gone to see, and one of her favourite artists, Stefan Mross, paid tribute to her today.
‘The rampage in Halle has taken our most loyal fan from us,’ he said, adding that she had a ‘zest for life’.
She was killed when she scolded the gunman outside the synagogue, asking him: ‘Is that really necessary while I’m walking past here?’.
A friend told Stern that she had been in Leipzig with Jana just two days before the shooting to watch a TV recording, but that Jana had to hurry for a train afterwards and had never properly said goodbye.
The second victim, Kevin S, was a football fan and painter and decorator who had been working at a building site near where he was shot dead, according to German media.
His father had feared the worst when he heard nothing from Kevin after reports of the rampage began to emerge yesterday afternoon.
‘All we know is that you were close to the construction site and lost your phone. Kevin, we love you over everything else,’ he wrote on Facebook as he waited anxiously for news.
Speaking to RTL, his mother Mandy said she had seen the horrific, live-streamed video in which her son was shot dead.
‘He had his whole life ahead of him. He was only 20 years old. I don’t know how my life is supposed to carry on,’ his mother said.
A fan group at Hallescher FC, the third-division club he supported, said he was ‘part of the HFC family’ and offered condolences to his family.
‘Our sympathies are with his relatives, friends and everyone who knew him. We wish them strength at this difficult time,’ they said in a statement.
Roman R, who was inside the building, said the majority of the 50 people inside hid away from the gunfire while he and around five other men barricaded the door to the prayer room and prepared to fight
Balliet was unable to get inside the synagogue so drove around the corner to a kebab shop where he shot another man dead, before firing several shots into the street (pictured, bullet holes in the shop window)
Jews inside the synagogue for Yom Kippur prayers described watching in horror on CCTV cameras as Balliet tried to shoot his way inside the prayer house before laying explosives outside and dousing the building in flammable liquid
Around a week before the attack took place, a manifesto appeared online outlining plans for the attack which included killing ‘anti-whites’, along with pictures of home-made weapons and ammunition
People place down flowers in front of a synagogue in Halle, Germany, where a woman was fatally shot after the attacker failed to get inside the prayer house
Candles are left in the market square in Halle tonight after an anti-Semitic gunman went on the rampage yesterday
It was also revealed that Balliet posted a manifesto online a week ago in which he wrote about attacking the synagogue in Halle while outlining his plan to kill ‘anti-whites’, including Jews.
The suspect was described in German media as a loner who lived with his mother and spent hours on his computer.
Balliet’s father, who was not named, told Bild that his son was an angry young man who ‘was not at peace with himself or with the world, and always blamed everyone else’ for his problems.
After his parents divorced he reportedly went to live with his mother in Helbra, which is where he was staying at the time of the attack, although he routinely saw his father who lives in Benndorf, about a five minute drive away.
The father said he last saw his son on Tuesday, around 24 hours before the attack, when he was confrontational.
‘There was always a fight, my opinion did not count,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t reach him any more.’
Records seen by Bild reveal that Balliet graduated from high school and went on to study chemistry for two semesters at a higher education institution, but had to abandon his studies after suffering medical problems.
It is not clear exactly what he did for work after quitting his studies, though a neighbour said he was working as a broadcasting technician at the time of the attack.
He shared footage of his rampage on Amazon-owned platform Twitch on Wednesday in a chilling echo of the Chirstchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, which was live-streamed on Facebook.
In the 35-minute video, published on Amazon-owned platform Twitch, he bemoaned his failure to get inside the synagogue and talked about the Holocaust, women’s rights and immigration, blaming ‘the Jews’ as the root of various problems.
Witnesses said the attacker also used a submachine gun during the attack and threw a grenade into the Jewish cemetery after shooting at the door of the synagogue to no effect.
In the footage, Balliet also claims he built his weapons himself, suggesting a familiarity with mechanical engineering, though he can also be heard lamenting the fact that his guns keep jamming.
In a manifesto which was posted online as a PDF document, the author included pictures of the weapons and ammunition used in the attack, according to extremism monitoring service SITE.
The manifesto also mentioned a live-stream as well as his objective to kill ‘anti-whites’, including Jews.
‘This manifesto document, which appears to have been created a week ago on October 1, gives yet more indication how much planning and preparation’ the gunman put into the attack, Rita Katz, director of SITE, said.
A woman lights candles at a mourning site on the market place in Halle. Jewish community leaders have called on the German government to do more to combat rising racism
A cardboard sign reading ‘no place for anti-Semitism’ sits among tributes in the town of Halle a day after an attempted massacre at the synagogue
The attack began in the city of Halle at the synagogue where two people were shot dead, before another two were shot and wounded in Weidersdorf. Police finally arrested the suspect north of Zeitz, around two hours later
A man and a woman were shot dead in an attack on a synagogue in Halle, central Germany, on Wednesday, while several others were injured. A gunman is pictured outside a kebab shop close to the synagogue
Jewish leaders say the attacker tried to get into the synagogue in Halle during prayers for Yom Kippur, but were stopped by ‘security measures’. A woman was then shot dead in the street outside (pictured, the attacker)
Armed police swarmed to the scene after the gunman opened fire. Witnesses said he used a submachine gun before throwing a grenade into a Jewish cemetery
A body lies in the street outside the synagogue, believed to be that of a female passerby who was gunned down when an attacker failed to get into the synagogue
In the wake of the attack, Jewish community leaders criticised German authorities for failing to do enough to combat rising anti-Semitism, while demanding round-the-clock security for Jewish sites in the country.
‘The fact that, 75 years after the Holocaust, such groups are gaining influence in Germany speaks volumes,’ Ronald Lauder, head of the World Jewish Congress, said.
Today Germany’s president Frank-Walter Steinmeier visited the scene of the attack in Halle and urged his nation to stand up for its Jewish compatriots.
He later told reporters that the country had a duty to protect Jews on its soil, also in light of its historical guilt for the Holocaust.
‘It must be clear that the state takes responsibility for Jewish life, for the security of Jewish life in Germany,’ he said.
Around 50 terrified worshippers – including 10 Americans – were trapped inside the synagogue during the attack, which they watched unfold on security cameras that broadcast to TV screens inside the prayer house.
Roman R, 31, told local media that he was in the middle of Yom Kippur prayers when he heard a bang and went into the corridor to see smoke coming into the building.
The majority of those inside – including the elderly and children – went to find shelter while Roman and five other men barricaded the door to the prayer room, called police, and then prepared themselves to fight back.
He described watching as Balliet shot at the wooden doors, believing they would give way any moment and that he would come inside and attack them.
Fortunately the doors held, explosives that Balliet placed at the doors did not go off, and flammable liquid he sprayed at the building failed to light.
After failing to get into the synagogue, Roman watched as Balliet left to continue his attack elsewhere as police arrived. He remained trapped inside the building for hours afterwards before finally being freed once officers had disarmed the explosives. Afterwards worshippers were pictured hugging and laughing as they were led away.
A kebab shop where a man is thought to have been shot dead after the gunman threw an explosive at the entrance, then fired shots into the restaurant
An armed officer runs to his vehicle in Halle. Police say they have arrested one suspect and are looking for others
Policemen climb over a wall close to the site of a shooting in Halle an der Saale, eastern Germany
Special police forces officers armed with sub-machine guns patrol after the attack in Halle an der Saale on Wednesday
A police robot examines evidence at the scene of a shooting in Halle, eastern Germany, outside a synagogue. There are reports that grenades were used during the attack
German Chancellor Angela Merkel greets members of the Jewish community at a vigil in Berlin on Wednesday evening
People leave candles and flowers at a vigil in Halle this evening after a man and woman were shot dead earlier on Wednesday
Forensic officers were working at the site where one of the victims was shot outside a synagogue on Wednesday
A bus whose destination board reads ‘evacuation’ is escorted by police past the site of a shooting in Halle on Wednesday
Armed police block access to a street near the scene of a shooting that has left two people dead
Jewish worshippers were sealed inside the synagogue for several hours while police cleared the surrounding area, before finally being allowed out. Pictured, a family celebrates their freedom
Local Jewish leaders said that an attacker had attempted to get into the synagogue but security measures ‘withstood the attack’ before he began shooting elsewhere
Armed police wearing masks and helmets seal off part of Halle near the scene of one of the shootings on Wednesday
While the attacker appeared to have been targeting the synagogue, Jewish community leaders said that none of the victims of the shooting appeared to be Jewish
Synagogue visitors sit in a bus after a shooting in Halle after police relaxed the cordon enough for them to leave
Shooter posts video on Amazon-owned Twitch
Social media firms faced anger and calls to ‘step up’ last after graphic footage of the anti-Semitic gun rampage in Germany was streamed live on Twitch and watched by thousands of people.
The 35-minute video was streamed live on Twitch, an Amazon-owned gaming site, and stayed there for another 30 minutes after the broadcast had finished before it was finally taken down.
In that time more than 2,000 people viewed the footage and some of them distributed it further via other social media networks.
The 35-minute video was streamed live on Twitch (file photo)
The shooter had created his Twitch account two months before Wednesday’s Yom Kippur violence.
Yesterday there were calls for social media sites to take action to stop their platforms being used for violence.
‘Amazon is just as much to blame as Twitch for allowing this stream online,’ said Hans-Jakob Schindler of the Counter Extremism Project.
‘Online platforms need to step up and stop their services being used and in turn, parent companies need to hold them accountable.
‘This tragic incident demonstrates one more time that a self-regulatory approach is not effective enough and sadly highlights the need for stronger regulation of the tech sector.’
‘We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Germany, and our deepest condolences go out to all those affected,’ a Twitch spokesman said.
‘Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against hateful conduct, and any act of violence is taken extremely seriously.
‘We worked with urgency to remove this content and will permanently suspend any accounts found to be posting or reposting content of this abhorrent act.
‘We take this extremely seriously and are committed to working with industry peers, law enforcement, and any relevant parties to protect our community.’
Federal prosecutor Peter Frank said Balliet would be charged with two counts of murder and nine counts of attempted murder in what he called a ‘terror’ act that had been planned to be a ‘massacre’.
A German security official said the suspect was caught as he abandoned a stolen taxi following an accident involving a truck.
Holger Stahlknecht, the interior minister of Saxony-Anhalt state, said the suspect managed to drive out of Halle following an exchange of shots with police that left him with a neck wound.
He abandoned his car in a small nearby town, where he shot and wounded two other people.
He continued southward in a stolen taxi, and was arrested as he left that vehicle following the accident. Police also seized a webcam in the car that he had used to film his attack.
Chancellor Angela Merkel joined a solidarity vigil at Berlin’s main synagogue on Wednesday, and firmly condemned the anti-Semitic rampage.
But Jewish leaders said that words were not enough, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu joining calls for German authorities to ‘act resolutely against the phenomenon of anti-Semitism’.
The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany ripped into the authorities for failing to provide adequate security on such a key day.
‘It is scandalous that the synagogue in Halle is not protected by police on a holiday like Yom Kippur,’ said Josef Schuster.
‘This negligence has now been bitterly repaid.’
Ronald Lauder, who heads the World Jewish Congress, also stressed: ‘We need action not words’ as he called for round the clock security for Jewish sites.
‘We also need immediately to launch a unified front against neo-Nazi and other extremist groups, which threaten our well-being.
‘The fact that, 75 years after the Holocaust, such groups are gaining influence in Germany speaks volumes.’
The owner of the kebab shop, Rifat Tekin, meanwhile described the gunman as ‘calm like a professional’.
‘Maybe he has done this many times. Like me making a kebab, he’s doing this – like a professional.’
Konrad Rösler, a 28-year-old railway worker interviewed on German TV, said that he was in the kebab shop when he saw a man with a helmet and military jacket launch the attack.
Rösler said the attacker threw a grenade at the shop, which bounced off the door frame, before he fired shots into the shop. He said he locked himself in the toilet and heard several more loud bangs before police arrived.
‘All the customers next to me ran, of course I did too. I think there were five or six of us in there,’ Mr Roessler said. ‘The man behind me probably died.’
‘I hid in the toilet,’ he said. ‘The others looked for the back entrance. I didn’t know if there was one. I locked myself quietly in this toilet, and wrote to my family that I love them, and waited for something to happen.’
Anti-terrorist prosecutors confirmed that they were taking over the probe given ‘the particular importance of the case’ which involved ‘violent acts that affect the domestic security of the Federal Republic of Germany’.
Wednesday’s shootings came three months after the shocking assassination-style murder of local pro-migrant politician Walter Luebcke in the western city of Kassel, allegedly by a known neo-Nazi.
Luebcke’s killing has deeply shaken Germany, raising questions about whether it has failed to take seriously a rising threat from right-wing extremists.
Investigators have been probing the extent of suspect Stephan Ernst’s neo-Nazi ties and whether he had links to the far-right militant cell National Socialist Underground (NSU).
Interior Minister Horst Seehofer last month warned of the rising danger of the militant far right, calling it ‘as big a threat as radical Islamism’.
Rescued members of the Jewish community wait inside a bus near the scene of a shooting that has left two people dead
Police initially advised residents to shelter in their homes while they scoured the area for possible further attackers
Police officers with an armoured vehicle block a road in Halle, Germany
A helicopter takes off as police secure the area between Wiedersdorf and Landsberg near Halle, eastern Germany
An officer leads a bomb-sniffing dog across the street in Halle, following reports that grenades were thrown by a gunman who targeted a synagogue in the city
A helicopter lands as police secure the area between Wiedersdorf and Landsberg near Halle, eastern Germany. Gunshots were also reported in those two towns, which sit near Halle
Police officers walk on a road in Halle, Germany, as they secure the area following an attack outside a synagogue
Police guard a crime scene near a Synagogue after a shooting in Halle, Germany, which targeted Yom Kippur worshippers
Armed officers help a woman to cross the street, stepping around shell casings which have been circled with spray paint on the floor
Police block the area around the site of a shooting in Halle an der Saale, eastern Germany
Police say they have arrested one person in connection with the attack, but told resident to shelter in place while the manhunt continues (pictured, an ambulance at the scene
Police secure the area after a shooting in the eastern German city of Halle
A police officer stands guard next to a van close to which his colleagues are gathered near the site of the shooting in Halle
A police robot near the scene of a shooting that has left two people dead in Halle, Germany
Police forces walk along the wall to a Jewish cemetery near the scene of a shooting that has left two people dead in Halle
Armed officers were also deployed outside a synagogue in Dresden, around 90 miles from Halle, as a precautionary measure following the attack amid fears of copy-cats
Police officers secure a synagogue in Dresden, Germany, following a shooting 90 miles away in Halle
Police armed with sub-machine guns and wearing armour and helmets secure the area around a memorial commemorating the 1938 Crystal Night pogroms, close to the synagogue in Dresden as a precautionary measure