A suspect linked to two deadly shootings at hookah bars in Hanau, Germany, on Wednesday, was a right-wing extremist, German authorities said. He was found dead in his apartment, a report said Thursday.
The suspect, identified only as Tobias R., published a crude confessional letter on the internet that was peppered with right-wing extremist views, Der Bild reported.
He reportedly entered the “Midnight” hookah bar in downtown Hanau around 10 p.m., rang a bell and then shot wildly in the smoking area, striking five people, including one woman, the newspaper said. The victims were all reported to be of Kurdish descent.
The incident took place in nearby Kurt-Schumacher-Platz, the report said. Officials have blocked out the view inside with the windows partially covered with orange foil and the front windows mostly covered with emergency blankets.
In the second crime scene a short distance away, authorities found the alleged suspect dead, Der Bild reported. In addition, the body of his mother was also found at that scene.
Officials also said the suspect left a letter and video confessing to the crime. In the letter, he describes the need to destroy certain people whose expulsion from Germany can no longer occur, the newspaper reported.
On Thursday morning, the city’s mayor, Claus Kaminsky, said there will be a public commemoration in the marketplace at 6 p.m. Thursday, the report said.
Officials also announced the attorney general for the region will take over the investigation because of the case’s importance, a spokesman for the federal prosecutor’s office in Karlsruhe said Thursday.
Following the shooting, the area was sealed off by authorities while special forces searched for the suspects, who were believed to have fled.
A dark vehicle was reportedly seen leaving the scene of the first shooting before the second shooting was reported at a different site.
Ali Mengücek, 49, who has lived in the area of the shooting for the past 40 years, said he was walking home with his two children when he saw four men – “all quite tall and fairly young,” perhaps 40 or under, DW.com reported.
He said they were standing in groups of two, about 100 feet apart. He walked in between them, telling his two girls to pick up the pace.
“I live about 50 meters past where they were standing. When I got home and shut the door, then I heard the six shots. I believe this was six or seven minutes after I had walked past with my two little children. I then opened the window, people were running back and forth and screaming. Within about five minutes, police were on the scene,” Mengücek said.
About two hours later he spotted ammunition on the road and reported it to the police.
Hanau is a city of 100,000 residents in the state of Hesse, some 15 miles east of Frankfurt.
Fox News’ Nick Givas and The Associated Press contributed to this report.