Slovakia shooting reclassified as terrorism with killer crediting Buffalo shooter as inspiration

People attend the vigil in Slovakia, placing Pride flags and candles, following the shooting where two men were killed

A shooting in Slovakia, in which two people were killed outside of an LGBTQ+ venue, has reportedly been reclassified as an act of terrorism.

The attack on 12 October in Bratislava saw two men fatally shot and a woman wounded in front of Tepláreň, a popular LGBTQ+ bar in Slovakia’s capital city.

Police identified those killed as Matus H, a 23-year-old university student, and Juraj V, 26.

Shortly after the attack, prosecutors claimed that the deadly shooting by a “radicalised teen” could be an act of terrorism, with the police claiming they were working to determine whether the suspect, Juraj K, 19, was driven by hateful motives.

Slovakian media reported on evidence pointing towards the attack as an act of terrorism included the suspected gunman’s “manifesto” which held hateful opinions towards the LGBTQ+ and Jewish communities.

On Monday (17 October), the investigator reportedly reclassified the incident as terrorism, according to the Slovak Spectator.

The newspaper reported, however, that even if the investigation confirms the reclassification the case will not go to court, as the suspect took his own life on the night of the attack.

Shortly before the attack, an account believed to belong to the Bratislava shooting suspect linked to a 65-page manifesto containing antisemitic, Islamophobic and homophobic writings.

Homeland Security Today reported that contained in the suspect’s manifesto was the horrific revelation that he was inspired by the Buffalo supermarket shooter, a self-confessed white supremacist who killed ten Black people and injured three more in Buffalo, New York, in May.

The manifesto read that he had been “preparing” for the attack since 2019, however, the Buffalo shooting gave him the “final nudge” to carry out the shooting.

“His livestream gave me new inspiration, a new impulse to do what had to be done after years of procrastination,” the horrific post claimed.

Thousands of LGBTQ+ activists and allies attended a vigil on Saturday (15 October) to honour the victims of the shooting, with organisers The Inakosť Institute estimating that at least 20,000 people attended to mourn the men’s deaths.

Slovakia’s president Zuzana Čaputová gave a speech during the event, saying: “I’m sorry that our society was not able to protect your loved ones.

“You belong here, you are valuable for our society,” she added, seemingly addressing the LGBTQ+ community.

She added in a statement on Twitter that spreading hate can have serious consequences.

“Words can become weapons. Hate kills,” Čaputová said.

“As politicians, we must weigh every word we say before it’s too late.”