UPDATE: Police operation at Berlin’s Checkpoint Charlie triggered by man with blank gun

UPDATE: Police operation at Berlin's Checkpoint Charlie triggered by man with blank gun
A special task force at the location on Monday afternoon. Photo: DPA
A major police operation at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin on Monday was triggered by shots fired from a blank gun, police reported.
 
There was no robbery, which witnesses had initially reported, according to a police spokesperson.
 
The suspect linked to the shooting was in the Starbucks a few meters away from the former Checkpoint Charlie border crossing, according to the police.
 
However, the suspect had not threatened anyone, reported police. Whether the shots were fired in the Starbucks or on the street in front of it was still unclear.
 
Witnesses had alerted the police around 1:20 pm. The police cordoned off the area. A special police task force (SEK) approached and searched a house nearby.
 

 

Police closed off the area around the Starbucks and Checkpoint Charlie. Photo: DPA

A special task force (SEK) of the police, as well as an ambulance, arrived at the scene. The police shut off off the area of Rudi-Dutschke-Straße and Kochstraße around the intersection of the Starbucks, and U-Bahn service on the U6 was interrupted.

Berlin police tweeted around 2:30 pm that they have the situation under control.

A man reported hearing shots at the crossing at about 1:20 pm. People had screamed and fled from the scene of the shooting, witnesses reported to DPA. 

Employees of a bakery at the intersection reported that they had alerted the police because of the commotion on the street. 

An office worker told the Berliner Morgenpost that he had just gone to get a coffee when he heard a bang several times. At first he had thought of firecrackers, but then he heard screams and saw people running.

Checkpoint Charlie was the name of the former Allied border crossing between West and East Berlin at the intersection of Friedrichstraße and Zimmerstraße.

The site became world-famous when American and Soviet tanks faced each other there in 1961.

Today, Checkpoint Charlie is a replica of the Americans' former control house. The location is one of the biggest tourists attractions in the German capital.

READ ALSO: Berlin bans 'soldiers' at Checkpoint Charlie


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