Two People Killed In Homophobic Attack Near Central Bratislava Nightclub
A flag of condolence hangs outside the Philosophy Faculty at Comenius University, where one of the victims was a student. Photo credit: FiF UK, via Facebook.
Bratislava, Oct 13 (CTK) – Two people were shot dead and one wounded after a 19-year-old man opened fire near a nightclub in Central Bratislava on Wednesday night. The assailant went on the run after the attack, but has been found dead by police today, according to police spokesman Michal Slivka.
The incident occurred on Zámocká street, leading from the historical centre to the Bratislava Castle and parliament building.
According to Slovak media, responsibility for the attack was claimed on Twitter by a young man, Juraj K., who had released material calling for violence against the Jewish and LGBT+ communities, including a 65-page manifesto. He published posts before the attack suggesting that it was premeditated, and continued tweeting after the attack, but his account has now been blocked.
The two victims were shot dead near Tepláreň, a nightclub for the LGBT+ community; both men were reported by the Sme newspaper to be under 30. One of them was named online as Matúš Horváth, a student at the Philosophical Faculty of Comenius University. A waitress who was working at one of the establishments on the street was injured, but her condition is reported to not be life-threatening. Members of the public have been leaving flowers and candles outside the club since this morning.
Witnesses reported hearing the shooting during the incident. One of them told the television station Joj that the shooter was using a gun with a laser sight and was aiming carefully at the victims.
According to media reports, police are investigating the possibility that the gunman was using a gun belonging to his father, formerly a political candidate for the far-right Vlast’ party.
Writing on Instagram, President Zuzana Čaputová responded to the attack by criticising hate speech in society and in politics: “I am thinking of the innocent victims of yesterday’s shooting in Bratislava and those who no longer feel safe after it. For three years I have been saying that even words are a weapon. That we politicians are also responsible for every single word we use. Nevertheless, many recklessly fill this space with hatred.”