A “radicalized teenager” shot and killed two people outside a gay bar in Slovakia’s capital Bratislava on Wednesday evening, Prime Minister Eduard Heger said.
A gunman killed two people and wounded another near the Teplaren bar in the city center on Wednesday evening, police said. The suspected attacker was himself found dead on Thursday morning, officers added.
“I strongly condemn a murder of two young people shot dead in Bratislava last night by a radicalized teenager,” Heger wrote on Twitter.
“No form of white supremacy, racism and extremism against communities, incl. LGBTI, can be tolerated,” he added.
Police said they have not yet determined the motive behind the shooting and asked the public for patience as they looked into the possibility that it was a hate crime.
Slovak media reported the main suspect had posted messages with the phrases “hate crime” and “gay bar” hashtagged on Twitter. The Dennik N news website said the attacker had posted a manifesto against the LGBTQ and Jewish communities before the killings.
In the manifesto, the suspect has expressed his antisemitic opinions, including calling for the “Total eradication of all Jews.”
StopAntisemitism Executive Director Liora Rez commented saying: “This is yet another horrifying example of how hatred against Jews never ends with Jews. We have learned that the tragic shooting of innocent victims outside of an LGBTQ bar in Slovakia was motivated by a hate-fueled antisemitic maniac radicalized online.
“We express our most sincere condolences to the families of the victims and call for more tangible actions to be taken against bigoted individuals prior to them acting on their beliefs.”
The Duhovy PRIDE Bratislava (Rainbow PRIDE) group said it was shocked by the attack, while Slovak President Zuzana Caputova offered her support to the LGBT community.
“I want to say to the LGBT community, it is not you who don’t belong here, it is not you who should be afraid to walk in the streets. It is hate that does not belong in Slovakia,” she told reporters after visiting the scene of the attack.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said her thoughts were with the families of the victims.
“These abhorrent murders are a threat to our societies built on respect and tolerance. The EU is committed to helping fight hate crime and speech in all forms. We must protect the LGBTIQ community,” she added.