• Germany's news in English

Police arrest man who shot at papal security officers

The Local · 24 Sep 2011, 11:52

Published: 24 Sep 2011 11:52 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A security officer reported feeling a pain in her leg, before looking down and seeing an airgun pellet on the ground near her foot, according to Eckhard Deutschmann, spokesman for the Erfurt police.

He said several shots were fired between 7 am and 8 am - aimed at the security officers controlling the entrance to the Domplatz where Pope Benedict XVI was due to say mass just a couple of hours later.

Police said no-one was injured, but that they had established that the shots had come from a nearby attic flat, where several people were to be found.

Officers tried to make contact with them, and then, according to reports, waited until the end of the mass before breaking down the door and arresting a man.

The pope's retinue immediately seemed sure the incident had nothing to do with him.

Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said it was "an incident that had nothing to do with the pope" and that "the pope has not been informed."

"No one noticed," Lombardi said. The shots were fired two hours before Benedict began his celebration of the mass for around 30,000 people.

"According to the German police, it seems to be the action of an unbalanced person," added Lombardi.

Story continues below…

Security for the pope's visit Germany has been extremely tight. Large parts of Berlin, Erfurt and Freiburg were locked down for the trip amid a colossal police presence. People living along the route along which the pope was due to drive in Berlin were told to keep their windows closed as he passed by.

DPAD/AFP/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

13:26 September 24, 2011 by Englishted
"People living along the route along which the pope was due to drive in Berlin were told to keep their windows closed as he passed by."

If they were told to turn their backs even better.
Today's headlines
German small arms ammo exports grow ten-fold
Photo: DPA

The government has come in for criticism after new figures revealed that Germany exported ten times the quantity of small arms ammunition in the first half of 2016 as in the same period last year.

14-year-old stabs 'creepy clown' in prank gone wrong
File photo: DPA.

A 16-year-old in Berlin decided he wanted to scare some friends, but his plot backfired in a violent way.

Four Ku Klux Klan groups active in Germany, says govt
An American member of the KKK at a gathering in Georgia. Photo: EPA.

The German government estimates that there are four Ku Klux Klan (KKK) groups currently active in the country, according to a report by the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) on Tuesday.

Ex-chancellor Schröder to mediate in supermarket row
Gerhard Schröder. Photo: DPA

Can Gerhard Schröder bring an end to the Kaiser's Tengelmann saga?

Outrage over ruling on 'brutal' gang rape of teen girl
The now convicted suspects, sitting in court in Hamburg. Photo: DPA.

A 14-year-old girl was gang-raped and left partially clothed and unconscious in freezing temperatures. Now prosecutors are appealing the sentences for the young men found guilty, most of whom will not set foot in jail.

Dozens of Turkish diplomats apply for asylum in Germany
Demonstrators holding a giant Turkish flag protest against the attempted coup in Istanbul in July. Photo: DPA.

Since the failed putsch attempt in Turkey in July, Germany has received 35 asylum applications from people with Turkish diplomatic passports, the Interior Ministry confirmed on Wednesday.

Hertha Berlin fan club criticised for 'anti-gay banner'
Hertha BSC beat FC Cologne 2-1. Photo: DPA

A 50 metre fan banner apparently mocking the idea of gay adoption has overshadowed Hertha BSC's win in the Bundesliga.

Germany stalls Chinese takeover of tech firm Aixtron
Aixtron headquarters in Herzogenrath. Photo: DPA

The German government on Monday said it had withdrawn approval for a Chinese firm to acquire Aixtron, a supplier to the semiconductor industry, amid growing unease over Chinese investment in German companies.

Politicians call for tough sentences for 'killer clowns'
File photo: DPA.

Now that the so-called 'killer clown' craze has spread from the US to Germany, elected officials are drawing a hard line against such "pranks", with some threatening offenders with jail time of up to a year.

Nearly one in ten Germans are severely disabled
Photo: DPA

New figures reveal that 9.3 percent of the German population last year were considered severely disabled.

10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd