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CRIME

Police end hostage situation in Bavaria after hours-long stand off

A young man barricaded himself inside a youth welfare office on Monday morning after taking an employee hostage. Special forces ended the situation several hours later without anyone sustaining serious injury.

Police end hostage situation in Bavaria after hours-long stand off
Police special forces in Pfaffenhofen. Photo: DPA

The hostage situation started in the town of Pfaffenhofen in Upper Bavaria at 8.30 am on Monday morning when a 28-year-old man barricaded himself into the third story office of a caseworker at the office.

The young man then threatened the 31-year-old woman with a knife and inflicted a wound on her upper body, police report.

By rolling down the shutters on the upper floor of the building he was able to block off all possible visible contact the police could have established.

What followed was a nerve-wracking standoff between police and the hostage taker, which lasted for several hours.

As a first step the police evacuated everyone who was still in the building. The surrounding area was then evacuated, while special forces (SEK) moving into the cordoned-off zone. Ambulances also arrived to be on standby in the event of casualties.

A negotiating team managed to make contact with the hostage taker via telephone. While the hostage situation was still in progress, a police spokesperson confirmed that the negotiators were trying to persuade the man to allow his captive to leave unharmed.

When the woman asked to be able to speak to a doctor in the early afternoon, the SEK team stormed the building and overpowered the man. No shots were fired in the operation.

“They made the most of a good opportunity,” the police spokesman said.

The victim was suffering psychologically in the wake of the incident but had not sustained any serious physical injury, the police announced. The hostage taker was also not seriously injured.

The motive for the hostage taking is still not completely clear, but police have indicated that it had something to do with a conflict over care of the young man’s child. The man is believed to have known the caseworker in a professional capacity.

CRIME

German jailed for life in double police murder

A German man was given a life sentence on Wednesday for shooting dead two police officers to escape being caught for illegal game hunting during a routine traffic check.

German jailed for life in double police murder

The regional court in Kaiserslautern found 39-year-old Andreas Schmitt guilty of the killings in January this year, which sent shockwaves across Germany.

His co-defendant, referred to by the court as Florian V., was found guilty of abetting illegal poaching.

The 33-year-old was in the car with Schmitt when the officers discovered dead game in the boot, investigators said.

“We are all to this day horrified that a supposed routine control could turn into a fatal incident,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said in a statement after the verdict.

READ ALSO: German prosecutors say poaching led to double police murder

The victims were a 24-year-old woman police officer still in training and her colleague, a 29-year-old man.

The young woman was killed by a single shot to the head, while the man was shot four times, investigators said.

The officers were able to report that they were checking a suspicious vehicle and that shots were being fired before radio contact broke off.

When backup arrived, the woman was already dead and the man fatally injured. The perpetrators had fled the scene.

The crime in the Kusel district of Rhineland-Palatinate state triggered a major manhunt, with police deploying helicopters and sniffer dogs, sealing off roads and warning local residents not to pick up hitchhikers.

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