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Police say 8 killed in shootings in the German city of Hanau

8 killed, shooter found dead

UPDATE 9:28 p.m.

A man suspected of fatally shooting nine people in the German city of Hanau was found dead at his home early Thursday, hours after the attacks in and outside two hookah lounges, police said.

Officers also found another body at the same address, police said.

Police gave no details of the suspected gunman but said “there are currently no indications of further perpetrators.” They did not give details of his possible motive or how he died, or specify why they believe “with a high degree of probability” that he was the assailant.

The number of dead in the shootings Wednesday evening rose to nine, a police statement said.

Officers sealed off and searched the apartment in Hanau's Kesselstadt district, near the scene of one of the shootings, after following up witness statements on a getaway car. Police said work to confirm the identities of the two bodies at the home was still underway, and they couldn't immediately give details either on them or the identities of the victims of the earlier shootings.

Earlier Thursday, police said that eight people were killed and around five wounded. They said a dark vehicle was seen leaving the location of the first attack and another shooting was reported at a scene about 2 1/2 kilometres (1 1/2 miles) away.

Police officers swarmed central Hanau, cordoning off the area of one of the shootings as a helicopter hovered overhead. A car covered in thermal foil also could be seen, with shattered glass next to it. Forensic experts in white overalls collected evidence.

Hookah lounges are places where people gather to smoke flavoured tobacco from Middle Eastern water pipes.

"This was a terrible evening that will certainly occupy us for a long, long time and we will remember with sadness," Hanau Mayor Claus Kaminsky told the Bild newspaper. Lawmaker Katja Leikert, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right party who represents Hanau in the German parliament, tweeted that it was “a real horror scenario for us all.”

Hanau is about 20 kilometres east of Frankfurt. It has about 100,000 inhabitants and is in Hesse state.


ORIGINAL 5:03 p.m.

Eight people were killed in shootings in the German city of Hanau on Wednesday evening, authorities said. Two hookah lounges reportedly were targeted.

Authorities were searching for the perpetrators early Thursday, three hours after the shootings which took place at about 10 p.m. (2100 GMT).

A short police statement gave no information on the victims. It said the motive is not immediately clear.

Police said a dark vehicle was seen leaving the scene of the first shooting, and another shooting was reported at a second site.

Regional public broadcaster Hessischer Rundfunk said, without citing sources, that an attack took place in a hookah lounge in the centre of the city. It said witnesses reported hearing eight or nine shots and seeing at least one person lying on the ground.

The perpetrator or perpetrators then apparently went to another part of the city, where shots were fired in another hookah lounge, the broadcaster said.

Hanau is in southwestern Germany, about 20 kilometres east of Frankfurt. It has about 100,000 inhabitants.



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