Scene of the crime in Wächtersbach | Photo: Picture-alliance/dpa/A.Dedert
Scene of the crime in Wächtersbach | Photo: Picture-alliance/dpa/A.Dedert

Police said Tuesday that the drive-by shooting of a 26-year-old man from Eritrea in a small town in western Germany was "very clearly" motivated by xenophobia. While the Eritrean survived the shooting, the suspected shooter later died, presumably from a self-inflicted wound.

A 26-year-old Eritrean national became the victim of a "xenophobic" attack Monday afternoon in the town of Wächtersbach, near Frankfurt, when a 55-year-old German man shot the Eritrean in the stomach from his car. The suspect later shot himself in the head, according to prosecutors.

The Eritrean was left seriously wounded but is said to be in a stable condition Tuesday after emergency surgery on his stomach, AFP reports.

Public prosecutor Alexander Badle said at a press conference on Tuesday that the Eritrean "became a victim because of his skin color." The shooting "had a very clear xenophobic motive," Badle said. At the same time, he cautioned that that "there is no reliable evidence that contact existed... with far-right extremist" groups.

After the shooter fled the scene, police found the "apparently lifeless" body of the suspect, a 55-year-old German man, in a neighboring town on Monday afternoon.

The suspect was later confirmed dead in hospital. 

"According to current information, it is likely that this person is the suspected shooter," police said, adding that his death was not caused by their officers.

During a search of the home and car of the suspect, police found five weapons. All were legally registered and two of them were semi-automatic. The suspect had recently also sold a sixth gun. "I cannot give any information about why he legally had such an arsenal of weapons," Badle said.

Police also found a letter, on which the prosecutor gave no details. The suspect had no previous convictions.

With material from AFP, dpa


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