BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovakia’s police said Thursday they found the body of a suspect who allegedly fatally shot two people the previous day in the capital in what some officials are suggesting was a hate crime.
Two men were killed and a woman was wounded on Wednesday evening near or at a bar, which is a popular spot for the local LGBTQ community in downtown Bratislava.
Comenius University in Bratislava said one of the two victims was a student.
Police said they were investigating but haven’t provided details about the motive of the shooting. They also said that authorities found the suspect’s body, but didn’t immediately give any further details.
President Zuzana Caputova and Prime Minister Eduard Heger condemned the slayings and suggested it might have been a hate crime.
“When I say that Slovakia is a free and democratic country I meant it,” Heger said Thursday. “It’s unacceptable that anyone should be afraid about their way of life,” he said.
“No form of extremism is acceptable.”
Caputova and Heger offered condolences to the relatives of the victims.
“We have to together overcome the hatred and evil,” Caputova said, adding that her thoughts with the victims and “those who no longer feel safe after it.”
Caputova and Heger called on other politicians to carefully choose their words when speaking about minorities. Some politicians, including from the ruling coalition, have previously made derogatory comments about the LGBTQ community.
“I keep saying for three years that words are also weapons,” Caputova said. “That we politicians are responsible for every single word we say. Yet so many here ruthlessly fill the space with hate.”
Interior Minister Roman Mikulec said it took place at a site “where the LGBTQ minority used to meet and look for safety.”
“Any demonstrations of extremism against this or any other minority are unacceptable and have no place in our society,” Mikulec said.
According to Slovak media, the suspect posted a racist document on Twitter full of hatred for Jews and LGBTQ people and posts about the shooting. The account was blocked Thursday.