Gunman kills parents and four others in Germany

German forensic policemen walk near a house where a shooter killed six people in Rot am See in southwestern Germany. (AFP)
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Updated 24 January 2020

Gunman kills parents and four others in Germany

  • The shooter launched the attack in the town of Rot am See near Heidelberg
  • Police have been able to confirm that two of the dead were the suspect’s father and mother

FRANKFURT AM MAIN, Germany: A 26-year-old man is believed to have shot dead his mother and father and four other people in a town in southwest Germany on Friday, police said, leaving two others seriously wounded.
The suspect “called the police station in (nearby town) Aalen at 12:48 p.m. (1148 GMT) to inform them he had shot several people,” police chief Reiner Moeller told reporters in a press conference hours after the killings in Rot am See, near Baden-Wuerttemberg state capital Stuttgart.
The young man stayed on the line, and when the first officers arrived minutes later at the hotel where the shooting took place, they immediately arrested him outside.
“They were then able to identify six dead people both inside and behind the building,” Moeller said, including three men aged 36, 65 and 69 and three women aged 36, 56 and 62.
Images from the scene showed large numbers of emergency vehicles and heavily armed officers sealing off the area with red and white police tape.
Meanwhile forensics teams dressed in white coveralls moved in to secure evidence.
Two survivors of the attack are receiving medical treatment, with one of them “in danger for his life,” police chief Moeller said.
The shooter had also threatened two children aged 12 and 15, leaving them shaken but unharmed.
Investigators have so far been unable to discover anything about the motive of the suspect, saying he would be questioned only when his lawyer arrived at the police station.
So far the police have been able to confirm only that two of the dead were the suspect’s father and mother.
“We are still clarifying the other relationships” between the group, Moeller said.
The perpetrator himself, a German citizen, lived in the hotel along with some of the victims, near the station in the town of 5,200 people.
German media had earlier reported that the group had met in the hotel for a family gathering, but police have so far been unable to confirm this.
Investigators say the crime was committed with a semi-automatic handgun, for which the suspect held a license for sport shooting.
The weapon was found inside the building after officers arrested the 26-year-old man.
While owning firearms is not illegal in Germany, most guns can be acquired only with a license and they are closely monitored, making mass shootings comparatively rare.
In October last year, a far-right attacker shot two people dead in the eastern city Halle, wounding several more after failing to break into a packed synagogue armed with home-made weapons.
In July 2016, a teenager used a pistol bought illegally online to kill nine people in a Munich shopping center, before turning the weapon on himself.
Germany has also been the target of a number of jihadist attacks in recent years, although most of the perpetrators did not use guns.
The most deadly took place in December 2016, when Tunisian Anis Amri drove an articulated truck into a Berlin Christmas market, killing 12 people.


Briton jailed for coughing at policeman while claiming to have coronavirus

Updated 01 April 2020

Briton jailed for coughing at policeman while claiming to have coronavirus

  • Adam Lewis, 55, was convicted of assault over the incident, during which he claimed to have the virus and told a policeman I am going to cough in your face
  • The police constable, who was on cycle patrol in the central London borough of Westminster, had approached Lewis after being alerted to suspicious activity

LONDON: A man who coughed at a police constable and threatened to infect him with the coronavirus has been jailed for six months, London’s Metropolitan Police said on Wednesday.
Adam Lewis, 55, was convicted of assault over the incident, during which he claimed to have the virus and told the policeman “I am going to cough in your face and you will get it” then coughed directly at the officer.
The police constable, who was on cycle patrol in the central London borough of Westminster, had approached Lewis and asked to search him after being told by a member of the public that he was trying to open the doors of cars parked along the street.
As well as threatening and coughing at the officer, Lewis also smashed a bottle of wine on the floor during the incident, and threatened to bite in order to transmit an infectious disease.
“While these type of assaults are thankfully a rare occurrence, this incident was horrendous and if we do encounter this type of unacceptable behavior we will be robust in our response,” said Chief Superintendent Helen Harper of the Metropolitan Police’s Area West Command Unit.