On Yom Kippur, Stephan Balliet carried out an attack on a synagogue in the city of Halle in Germany.
What We Know:
- The attack began when Balliet, 27, tried to gain access to the synagogue but was stopped by locked doors. The man used homemade weapons to shoot the doors and placed an explosive device on the doors but was still unable to gain entry.
- The shooter’s anti-Semitic beliefs and right-wing extremist affiliation motivated the attack. He was trying to get inside the synagogue where over 50 congregates were celebrating the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur. After he was unable to enter, he killed two people who were outside of the synagogue.
- Christiane Prinz, a witness, told the Wall Street Journal that she spotted the suspect, who was wearing a dark-green military outfit, throw a projectile over the synagogue’s gate causing a loud bang. She stated, “There was a blast, there was smoke. Then the shooting happened.”
- The suspect wore a helmet with a camera attached to it and streamed 35 minutes of the assault on Twitch. The company released a statement on Twitter saying, “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.”
German prosecutor Peter Frank called the attack an act of terrorism. He stated, “According to our findings, the suspect Stephan B. aimed to carry out a massacre.”
Luckily the locked doors were able to minimize the tragedy.