Passers-by ignored victim of Halle terror attack, report says

dpa news germany

By Marek Majewsky and Lisa Forster, dpa

Passers-by seemed to have ignored the first victim of a terrorist attack in the German city of Halle in October, German media reported, walking past the the shot woman.

Surveillance video showed that several people “calmly, almost indifferently” walking past the victim, broadcasters WDR, NDR and the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported late Friday.

“In the middle of a major German city a person lies shot on the pavement, but people walk past,” the paper wrote.

Around 50 people were in a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle on October 9 when the suspected attacker, identified only as Stephan B under German privacy laws, shot at the door and threw explosive devices.

The attack took place on Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. Stephan B has admitted he acted out of anti-Semitic and right-wing motives.

After he failed to force his way into the synagogue, he shot dead a 40-year-old woman in the street and a 20-year-old man in a nearby kebab shop. He also seriously injured a couple while fleeing.

Police in the former East German state of Saxony-Anhalt have faced criticism for the lack of safety measures at the synagogue and their handling of the attack.

Police arrived 10 minutes after the woman’s murder, at 12:11 pm, the media reports show, initially with only one patrol car.

This coincides with statements by the state’s interior ministry, which published a detailed log of the operation shortly after the attack.

According to the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, a female officer is seen on the video getting out of the patrol car and walking around the female victim once. She did not provide first aid.

Investigators assume the victim was already dead at this point. The officer then waited, neither putting on protective gear nor drawing her firearm.

The video continues for another 12 minutes, the report says. Until that time, no medics had arrived who could have determined the death of the 40-year-old woman.

Already hours after the attack, the chairman of the Jewish Community in Halle criticized that police arrived at the scene too late. An investigative committee of the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt is to investigate the police’s handling of the attack.

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