"Those things aren't harmless and can cause substantial injuries when fired from close range," officer Michael Bechatzek told The Local. "But he claimed he just wanted to threaten them and therefore didn't really aim properly," he added.
The 19 and 21-years-old pranksters didn't stop their snowball barrage even after the 75-year-old retiree fired the rifle twice. Instead, one of the men charged the sharp shooter in an attempt to take the weapon.
"He probably thought, hang on the grandpa is going to charge the rifle again, and used the time he needed to do so to run up and disarm him," Bechatzek said. "Cocking those weapons takes quite a long time as you have to bend the barrel down to do that," he added.
But the old man fought the young man off, hitting him in the face with the rifle. The 19-year-old finally managed to grab the rifle and run home, where he nursed his bruised cheek and called police, the officer said.
Apparently the young men were already acquainted with the retiree, who lives near their home in the small city.
The trigger-happy retiree's gun has been confiscated and he now faces charges for violation of Germany's weapons laws.