• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Gunman kills Hamelin politician then himself

The Local · 27 Apr 2013, 09:35

Published: 26 Apr 2013 15:03 GMT+02:00
Updated: 27 Apr 2013 09:35 GMT+02:00

"The perpetrator killed district administrator Rüdiger Butte and then killed himself," a police spokesman said. Officers were still at the scene on Friday afternoon, collecting evidence to support an investigation.

Shots were heard shortly after 10am in the city's main administrative building, where 63-year-old Butte was later found dead along with the body of his assailant.

The police chief of neighbouring Göttingen, Robert Kruse, later told a news conference that a dispute between the elderly assailant and local authorities over a gun licence had preceded Friday's shooting.

The local man, whom Kruse described as a "gun fanatic", had been stripped of his permit in 1988 and in 2009 was charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

He was also known to police for other crimes including grievous bodily harm.

Investigators believe the gunman, who was not identified, tried to reach Butte repeatedly on the telephone before the shooting. It was not immediately clear whether the two knew each other personally.

Butte was married with two adult children and five grandchildren, according to his profile on the district website. By Friday afternoon, his personal website had been taken off line.

Lower Saxony's Interior Minister Boris Pistorius said in a statement that Butte's murder had left him stunned. “He will be missed by everyone. My thoughts go to his wife and children.”

He served as a police officer, rising through the ranks to become the head of the State Crime Investigations Office of Lower Saxony from 2001 to 2005. He had served as district administrator of Hamelin-Pyrmont, an elected office, since 2005.

The district press officer, Sandra Lummitsch, fought back tears as she described the scene.

"I heard shots. The door opened and my colleague said 'Something terrible has happened'," she said.

"No one can believe that this took place here."

She said she and her co-workers locked themselves in a room after a supervisor sent an email to all staff with a warning to stay where they were.

The town is best known for the folk tale of the Pied Piper, later popularised by the Brothers Grimm.

Story continues below…

Gun violence is rare in Germany, although major massacres in Erfurt in 2002 and Winnenden in 2009 made headlines around the world.

Yet gun crime dropped considerably over the past decade – in 2000, police registered 19,400 crimes in which involved a firearm. By 2011, this figure stood at 11,700.

Of the 2011 statistics, 5,600 were shootings and 132 were incidents in which a gun was involved in a murder, manslaughter or assisted suicide investigation.

AFP/DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Govt denies planning bailout for troubled Deutsche Bank
Photo: DPA

Germany's finance ministry on Wednesday said the government was "not preparing rescue plans" for Deutsche Bank, denying a newspaper report that state aid was being considered for the embattled lender.

Munich at high risk of housing bubble: report
A view of Munich. Photo: Pexels.com

Considering buying property in Munich? This report might make you think twice.

After fatal hail storm, south Germany set to see sun
The hail storm in Baden-Württemberg on Monday night left the streets looking like a winter landscape. Photo: DPA.

A hail storm in southwest Germany on Monday night led to the death of one woman, but forecasters predict a bit more sun in the days to come.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

UK files show how Spanish spy tricked Nazis over D-Day
Photo: DPA

Secret files released in Britain Wednesday shed new light on how a Spaniard dubbed the greatest double agent of World War II tricked Germany with false intelligence about the D-Day Normandy landings.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Lifestyle
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Lifestyle
10 German films you have to watch before you die
Lifestyle
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Lifestyle
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
National
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
National
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
National
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Culture
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Rhineland
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Culture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
Lifestyle
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Gallery
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Society
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
National
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
International
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
Technology
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
Lifestyle
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Travel
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
Lifestyle
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
6,545
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd