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Police hunt possible armed suspect in small town shooting

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Police hunt possible armed suspect in small town shooting
Police at the scene of the shooting. Photo: DPA.
16:47 CEST+02:00
In the small Ruhr Valley town of Oer-Erkenschwick, a fight between rival gangs turned violent, escalating in one man shooting two people. Now police are searching for the shooter, who they warn may be armed.

Police report that two rival groups got into a fight involving around 20 people that escalated violently on Tuesday evening outside of a business in Oer-Erkenschwick. The fight became violent with members of the groups hitting one another with various objects.

Police didn't go into specifics on whether the groups were criminal gangs, rival families, or something else.

One man involved took out a gun and started to shoot before fleeing the scene, according to investigations thus far. 

Two men were injured by the physical fighting, while another sustained gunshot wounds. Two of them were taken to hospital, but police said their injuries were not life-threatening.

Ten people were taken into custody by police at the scene on Tuesday, though it was not yet clear on Wednesday what role they played in the fight.

Overnight, officials launched a large police operation in the town and nearby area involving roughly100 officers, also deploying a special police force and using a helicopter in the search for the perpetrator.

Police have not said what the possible trigger of the fight had been.

A video circulating online reportedly showing the confrontation is being reviewed by police as part of the investigation.

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