Two arrested after Rüsselsheim shooting

Two men were in custody on Wednesday after a gun and knife fight between two groups of Turks at an ice cream parlour in Rüsselsheim near Frankfurt am Main left three people dead including an innocent bystander.

Two arrested after Rüsselsheim shooting
Photo: DPA

Police said that three or four Turkish citizens were seated on the terrace of the De Rocco ice cream parlour in the city centre at around 8:00 pm on Tuesday. A group of four of five other Turks then arrived and attacked the first group, police spokesman Stefan Müller told a news conference.

“In the ensuing confrontation firearms and knives were drawn,” Mueller said. Three people were killed – a 29-year-old man from the first group, a 26-year-old from the attackers, and a 55 year-old woman who had nothing to do with the dispute.

The 26-year-old’s older brother, 31, was also hurt and was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. On Wednesday he was no longer in a critical condition after an emergency operation, Müller said.

Media reports said that the woman who died worked at an adjacent Greek restaurant. She was hit by a stray bullet in the stomach and died in the arms of her husband while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Police sealed off the area and began a massive manhunt involving some 200 officers, sniffer dogs and a helicopter in the heavily populated Rhine-Main area. Two men, a 49-year-old and a 28-year-old, both Turks, were arrested, while the man in hospital has also been made a suspect, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

“This is a very complex case…. There are indications suggesting that they were at the scene of the crime, but their exact involvement is not yet clear,” Müller said.

Detectives said they were unclear why the clash had taken place, saying the only lead they had was that it might have followed on from a “dispute” between two men in the nearby town of Mainz last weekend, at last one of whom was in Rüsselsheim.

On Wednesday they were still combing the crime scene for clues. They appealed for witnesses to come forward, offering a reward of €10,000 ($15,000) for concrete evidence.

Initially parallels were drawn with the gangland massacre of six members of an Italian mafia clan almost exactly year ago outside a pizza parlour in the gritty western German city of Duisburg. But media reports said that the three men were of Turkish origin and speculated that the murders may have been because of unpaid betting debts, a family feud or a dispute over protection money.

he website of newsmagazine Der Spiegel cited locals as saying that one of the victims was the owner of a betting shop who was refusing to pay out on a bet that one of the gunmen had won. TV reports said the bet was worth thousands of euros.

Turks first came to Germany in the 1950s as “Gastarbeiter” or temporary workers, and large numbers stayed and brought over their families. The now number almost three million and are Germany’s largest minority group. But integration has been slow and many feel excluded from German society, with rates of crime, poverty and unemployment among the Turkish community all higher than average.


Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.