The court in Limburg found on Monday that the 28-year-old Patrick S. had acted out of “a deeply rooted hatred of the police"
Patrick S. was also found guilty of a second count of attempted murder and a count of serious bodily harm and will not have a chance of parole after 15 years.
On Christmas Eve 2015, Patrick S., a man with a long criminal record, was travelling on a regional train in Hesse when a ticket inspector found that he did not have a ticket. When Patrick S. became aggressive, the controller called the police, who waited at Herborn station to pick him up.
But when two officers boarded the train, Patrick S. immediately attacked them with a knife and then stabbed a third who entered shortly after.
One of the officers, a 46-year-old male, was able to fire off two shots before he died, injuring Patrick S. and preventing him from further attacking his colleagues.
The policeman, a father of four children, died at the scene of the crime. One of his colleagues only survived after emergency surgery and remains unable to work.
The defendant had claimed during the trial that he had mistaken the officers for a biker gang who intended to attack him. The court rejected this claim after visiting the site of the crime to inspect the lighting there.
The crime was a “brutal and merciless act by a man hardened by battle,” the judge said, adding that the accused had used the opportunity to live out his murder fantasies on police officers, whom he had already decided deserved to die.
Committed on the day of peace, the crime was "most deeply reprehensible," said the judge.