German Synagogue Gunman Was Inspired by Christchurch Mass Shooter: Prosecutors
The German man who live-streamed a failed synagogue attack on Thursday that left two dead was reportedly inspired by other mass shooters, including Christchurch gunman Brenton Tarrant. According to The Wall Street Journal, German officials said Stephan Balliet—who was arrested and charged with murder Thursday—wanted to have a global impact and posted online prior to the shooting near Halle synagogue. He reportedly described how he made handmade guns and explosives for the attack, and used language of the far right to express hatred towards Jews, Muslims, and liberals. General Federal Prosecutor Peter Frank told reporters Balliet “had intended to cause a massacre.”
The live-stream of the shooting, posted on Twitch, featured Balliet attempting to enter the synagogue gates for 15 minutes after finding the gates locked. When he shot a passerby dead and killed a fast-food restaurant customer, his guns reportedly kept jamming and failing to fire. “I will die like the loser I am,” he reportedly said at one point in the stream, apologetic that he didn’t cause more deaths. One official told the Journal that Balliet was one of the last Germans to do compulsory military service prior to it being phased out. State Interior Minister of Saxony-Anhalt Holger Stahlknecht also said Balliet was not known to German intelligence agencies prior to the shooting.