Police end kindergarten hostage situation

Police in Cologne ended a 10-hour hostage situation on Friday by shooting the suspect in the shoulder. The man entered a kindergarten and trapped the director.

Police end kindergarten hostage situation
Photo: DPA

Children and their caretakers were in the daycare on Friday but were able to escape unharmed. The centre’s director was freed on Friday evening after the stand off, which involved numerous law enforcement authorities, including specially trained forces, ended.

Normally 85 children attend the centre in the problem neighbourhood of Cologne Chorweiler. But due to the Easter holidays there were only 17 there on Friday.

The first call for help came at 8:50am, informing police that there was a loud argument going on at the school. The suspect wanted a get away car and cash, a police spokesperson later said.

Finally during the evening the police stormed the building. The hostage taker was hit with a bullet to his shoulder and was taken into custody.

No immediate information as to the hostage taker’s motive was available.

DPA/The Local/mw

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German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.