to updateA special police team ended a hostage situation that lasted more than 4.5 hours at a pharmacy in Karlsruhe, southwestern Germany, on Friday evening. The 20-year-old hostage-taker has been arrested. He is known to the police.
Members of the SEK (Spezialeinsatzkommando) stormed the pharmacy at around 9:10 p.m. According to local media, some explosions were heard. Police and judiciary stated in a joint press release at around 9:30 pm that a male suspect was arrested and the store was subsequently searched.
For tactical reasons, the police initially refused to provide information about possible demands and ransom demands, but later revealed that the 20-year-old German was known to the police because he had a past history of violent and property crimes.
With the suspect overpowered, eleven people ended up being held hostage unharmed. A single-digit ransom was demanded in exchange for their freedom Stuttgart nights. According to a police spokesman, the investigation is still underway as to whether one of the hostages may have been an accomplice to the hostage-taking.
The hostage-taking began around 4:30 p.m. at the Congressional Pharmacy in downtown, next to the Convention Center. Neighbors said they heard gunshots in the early evening. Due to the extensive police operation and security perimeter, the nearby concert hall and Schwarzwaldhalle were inaccessible. As a result, visitors were unable to attend two performances, police said on Twitter. I asked people to avoid the area.
One of the events was a concert expected to attract thousands of people, and the other was a show by German dog trainer, supervisor and author Martin Rutter. This was stated by a spokesperson for the Karslruher Gallery and Congress Center in Südwestrundfunk. Rutter called on visitors on social media not to come to his performance “he just wants to play”. “The event has just been canceled due to an armed hostage being held in a pharmacy 100 meters away as a crow flies. Please do not come into the hall, because the wider area has been cordoned off,” he explained outside the event hall.
Locals who were unable to return home were taken care of in a school. According to the regional radio, the pharmacy had already been raided on January 26. A masked man entered the staff room, threatened an employee with a “saw-like” object, and stole a liter of methadone. A few days later, the suspect was identified and arrested.
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