- The Washington Times - Friday, October 11, 2019

Federal prosecutors said Friday that the suspect arrested in connection with a waging a deadly shooting rampage near a German synagogue on Yom Kippur this week has admitted his involvement.

Germany’s Federal Prosecutor’s Office said the suspect, identified by authorities only as Stephan B., 27, confessed Thursday evening.

The suspect spoke to authorities at length under interrogation and admitted that he was motivated by his own extremist beliefs, said a spokesperson for the office, multiple German outlets reported.

“He gave an extensive confession. He confirmed far-right and anti-Semitic motives” for the attack, said the spokesperson, according to Germany’s Deutsche Welle broadcaster.

Prosecutors said the suspect unsuccessfully tried to enter a synagogue in the east German city of Halle on Wednesday while armed with four guns and several explosive devices. He eventually abandoned the effort and shot and killed two people and injured several others nearby, according to the authorities.

The suspect was arrested shortly after the rampage started and has been charged with two counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder.

“It would be nonsensical to deny it, and he didn’t do that,” the suspect’s defense lawyer, Hans-Dieter Weber told Germany’s public broadcaster, Südwestrundfunk. “In his view of the world, he blames others for his own misery and that’s what ultimately triggered his action.” 

The incident was broadcast live on the internet by the suspect for 35 minutes using Twitch, a livestreaming service owned by Amazon, and a recording was automatically uploaded to the platform afterward and subsequently shared on other sites and services. It has accordingly sparked comparisons to another rampage this past March when dozens of people were murdered at two mosques in New Zealand by a lone gunman who livestreamed the massacre.

• Andrew Blake can be reached at ablake@washingtontimes.com.

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