Bar staff and pregnant woman reportedly among Hanau victims

Kate Connolly and Bethan McKernan
Photograph: Ralph Orlowski/Reuters

The nine people gunned down in two shisha bars in the German town of Hanau are believed to have been aged between 21 and 44. All of them were from immigrant backgrounds and some were German citizens.

Turkey’s ambassador to Berlin, Ali Kemal Aydin, said five victims were Turkish nationals. People of Turkish background make up Germany’s single largest minority.

Five of the victims were of Kurdish origin, according to Mehmet Tanriverdi, the deputy chair of the Confederation of the Communities of Kurdistan in Germany. It was not clear if they were the Turkish citizens.

According to unconfirmed reports in Turkish and German media, the victims also included a Bosnian and a Pole.

The dead included a waiter at Midnight, the first shisha bar to be attacked. He was named in Turkish media as Gökhan Gültekin. One Turkish media organisation, TRT, said Gültekin had been engaged to be married.

Iskender Muhammed, a Turkish man who had gone to Midnight for supper with a group of friends, said Gültekin and three diners were killed next to him. Muhammed spoke to Turkey’s A Haber TV from a hospital bed where he was being treated for a bullet wound to his right shoulder.

The Frankfurt-based Kurdish daily newspaper Yeni Özgür Politika reported that another victim at Midnight was 22-year-old Ferhat Ünvar, the son of one of its journalists.

At Arena, the second bar to be targeted, two employees are believed to have been among the dead, according to the son of the owner.

German media reported that one of the victims was a 35-year-old pregnant mother of two.

Shisha bars are found in towns across Germany and are popular places for people with links to the Middle East or south Asia to spend their free time sharing favoured tobacco from a hookah or water pipe and drinking tea.

It is likely the gunman deliberately sought out the shisha bars knowing he would find them full of people with an immigrant background. Although some require visitors to ring a bell before being allowed in for security reasons, the shisha bars have a reputation for being open, accessible and friendly.