• Germany's news in English
 

Two Americans shot dead at Frankfurt Airport

Published: 02 Mar 2011 16:29 GMT+01:00
Updated: 02 Mar 2011 22:24 GMT+01:00

Police spokesman Jürgen Linker said the incident occurred at Terminal 2 on a bus used to transport US military personnel. The bus driver and one member of the US Air Force were reportedly killed.

"Two airmen have been killed and two were wounded during a shooting incident today at Frankfurt International Airport," US Air Forces Europe said in a statement.

The victims had just flown in from Britain and were about to travel to Ramstein airbase near Frankfurt, German police said.

Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her condolences to the friends and families of the deceased. "This is a horrible event," she told reporters in Berlin.

The shooting came a month after Germany's authorities had announced that additional security measures imposed late last year in response to indications of an imminent "terrorist" attack were set to be gradually scaled back.

The police initially said they believed there was an altercation near the bus before the shooting occurred around 3:20 pm and there was no clear indication that it was an act of terrorism. However, by Wednesday evening evidence was mounting that it could have been a targeted attack against US forces.

The authorities said a 21-year-old suspect from Kosovo living in Frankfurt had been overpowered after fleeing into the terminal building.

Boris Rhein, interior minister for the state of Hesse, said the man had apparently approached the bus and shot a US solider standing in front of the vehicle before killing the driver in his seat. He said the motive for the shooting remained unknown.

"I am consciously speaking of homicide and not an attack," said Rhein at the scene of the shooting. "But at the moment nothing can be ruled out."

The suspect used a handgun, Rhein said, while media reports said that the man also had a knife. There was no exchange of fire aboard the bus.

Another police spokesman said that those injured were taken to a civilian hospital, but he was unable to say if they were in a critical condition.

US President Barack Obama, in a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room, said that the US government would "spare no effort" to find out the circumstances of the attack.

"We will be working with German authorities to ensure that all the perpetrators are brought to justice," Obama said, describing the shooting a "stark reminder" of the sacrifices US service members serving abroad made.

The US military has a number of major bases near Frankfurt, including Ramstein, which are used as hubs for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Photobucket

Click here for photos of the incident.

DPA/AFP/DAPD/The Local/mry

Related links:

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Today's headlines
Greece crisis
Germany, France call for Greece to get 'serious'
Photo:DPA

Germany, France call for Greece to get 'serious'

Germany and France on Monday called on Greece to make detailed proposals to revive bailout talks, a day after Greek voters defiantly rejected creditors' demands for further austerity, plunging Europe into crisis. READ  

School hotpants ban sparks online debate
Photo: DPA

School hotpants ban sparks online debate

A school's decision to ban hot pants for girls during the July heatwave has sparked anger online, with feminist activists decrying the decision as sexist. READ  

Greece crisis
Merkel to meet Tsipras at Tuesday summit
Over 60 percent of Greeks voted 'No' in the referendum. Photo: DPA

Merkel to meet Tsipras at Tuesday summit

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel is to meet Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at a eurozone summit on Tuesday to discuss new Greek reform proposals, Greek government sources said. READ  

Students fight for life after chimney plunge
The Düsseldorf Kunstakademie (Academy of Arts). Photo: DPA

Students fight for life after chimney plunge

Two students had to be rescued by fire services after falling 30 metres down a chimney at the the Dusseldorf Academy of Arts on Sunday night. READ  

Lion cub raised in living room leaves home
Zookeeper Isabelle Wallpott with Malor. Photo: DPA

Lion cub raised in living room leaves home

Malor has lived at home with a zookeeper in the Eifel mountains for the last five months. Now the little lion cub is about to be reintroduced to his mother. READ  

July heatwave
Bavarian town roasts in record temperatures
A farmer waters strawberries near Kitzingen in Lower Franconia. Photo: DPA

Bavarian town roasts in record temperatures

The small town of Kitzingen in Bavaria registered a new record temperature for Germany, as the mercury reached 40.3 C on Sunday. READ  

Having kids later makes for a happy family
Children make us happy, but only up to a point. Photo: DPA

Having kids later makes for a happy family

Children are a blessing? Only for parents over a certain age, and then only up to a certain number, a study published by a German research institute shows. READ  

Greece crisis
How will Germany react to the Greek vote?
Angela Merkel has some more sleepless nights ahead of her. Photo: DPA

How will Germany react to the Greek vote?

Now that Greeks have voted against accepting tough austerity conditions in return for a fresh tranche of bailout cash, The Local asked Professor Michael Wohlgemuth of Open Europe Berlin how Chancellor Angela Merkel, other political leaders and the German public may respond. READ  

Post strike ends Monday as agreement reached
Photo: DPA

Post strike ends Monday as agreement reached

Public sector union Verdi has reached a final agreement with Deutsche Post after a strike that lasted four weeks, meaning postal service should return to normal starting on Tuesday. READ  

Women's World Cup
Löw defends Neid as critics circle after defeat
Silvia Neid congratulates England after Germany's 1-0 defeat. Photo: DPA

Löw defends Neid as critics circle after defeat

World Cup winning coach Joachim Löw defended his female counterpart Silvia Neid on Monday after Germany fell to a surprise 1-0 defeat to England in the third place play-off of the Women's World Cup. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
Politics
What's really in the Queen's handbag?
National
Germans say USA doesn't respect freedom
National
Yes, you CAN buy adult e-books before 10pm in Germany
VIDEO: Watch a 93-metre turbine crash to earth in slow motion
Gallery
Who's got a shot at the German Film Awards
Rhineland
Anger over 'child-free' beer garden
National
How do you do, Majestät?
National
Man defends right to pee in public with tear gas
Features
The Germans who won Waterloo for the British
Frankfurt
Should Germany ban circus animals?
Hamburg
Where people are having the most sex in Germany
Culture
Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Not this student...
National
Dresden's three-decade-long red light
Politics
Upper house calls for gay marriage now
Berlin
Berlin named 3rd-best city worldwide
Sport
In search of the toughest firefighter
Business & Money
German firms shine for European engineering students
Gallery
Hitler's paintings up for auction
National
German's 70-year search for murdered US pilot
Politics
What the G7 leaders agreed at Elmau
Business & Money
What really makes Germans happy
National
Playmobil builder leaves worldwide legacy
National
The car share that became a drug run
Politics
What Snowden revealed to Germany
Rhineland
Why wolf cubs are being raised by hand
National
Hitler's booze cave found
National
Environment makes Germany worth living in
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,862
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd