Two dead in Ger­man nightclub shoot­ing

‘In­ves­ti­ga­tions are on­go­ing into the back­ground of the act’

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

A gun­man opened fire at a packed nightclub in south­ern Germany early yes­ter­day, killing one and wound­ing four be­fore be­ing shot by po­lice, au­thor­i­ties said, in an at­tack likely mo­ti­vated by a per­sonal feud. The 34-year-old man, iden­ti­fied as an Iraqi na­tional, “was crit­i­cally in­jured in a shootout with po­lice of­fi­cers as he left the disco, and later suc­cumbed to his wounds in hos­pi­tal,” po­lice said in a state­ment.

“In­ves­ti­ga­tions are on­go­ing into the back­ground of the act, which was likely linked to a dis­pute in the at­tacker’s per­sonal life. There are no in­di­ca­tions of a ter­ror act,” po­lice added. The for­eign gun­man was not an asy­lum seeker and has been liv­ing in the Con­stance re­gion, which bor­ders Switzer­land, for 15 years. Of­fi­cers be­gan re­ceiv­ing emer­gency calls from ter­ri­fied club­bers at around 4:30 am (0230 GMT) as the man be­gan shoot­ing in the nightclub heav­ing with “sev­eral hun­dred” peo­ple, said po­lice.

One per­son was killed on the spot and three oth­ers se­ri­ously wounded in the club called “Grey”, lo­cated in an in­dus­trial zone of the city, which draws Swiss rev­ellers dur­ing the week­ends. Shortly af­ter the gun­man left the build­ing, he was shot by po­lice. One of­fi­cer was also in­jured in the ex­change of fire. Fright­ened rev­el­ers had ei­ther fled the build­ing or found a place to hide, po­lice said, adding that the dan­ger was now over. He­li­copters were cir­cling over­head and spe­cial forces were also de­ployed to se­cure the site.

‘Club was jam-packed’

A wit­ness told na­tional news agency DPA that the at­tacker was shoot­ing ran­domly at club­bers around him. “The club was jam-packed,” added the un­named man, who said he had seen the at­tacker and fled quickly with his friends. Another un­named club­ber was quoted by Sued­kurier daily that he was in the wash­room when some­one came in and closed the toi­let door say­ing there was shoot­ing.

“I didn’t be­lieve it and went out. But I heard shots and quickly ran back to the toi­let and closed the door with another per­son. With us was a bouncer who was shot and he was ban­dag­ing the wound with a belt,” said the wit­ness. A bar­tender then opened the emer­gency exit door, al­low­ing rev­ellers to flee, he said, adding that he saw another per­son with a wound in the leg ly­ing on the grass by the park­ing lot. “I just shouted at ev­ery­one to run and when we were in the park­ing lot, we heard shots again,” he said.

Po­lice was un­able to con­firm the type of weapon used, but Bezikofer said it was “not just a pis­tol, the talk is of a long weapon or an au­to­matic pis­tol”. The shoot­ing came just two days af­ter Germany was shaken by a knife at­tack in the north­ern port city of Ham­burg. A 26-year-old Pales­tinian had killed one and in­jured six in an as­sault at a su­per­mar­ket.

He was a known Is­lamist with psy­cho­log­i­cal prob­lems, and in­ves­ti­ga­tors say his mo­tives re­main un­clear. Germany has been on high alert about the threat of a ji­hadist at­tack, es­pe­cially since last De­cem­ber’s truck ram­page through a Ber­lin Christ­mas mar­ket that claimed 12 lives. But it has also been hit by other as­saults un­re­lated to the ji­hadist threat. Among the dead­li­est in re­cent years is a Mu­nich shop­ping mall ram­page last June by 18-year-old Ger­manIra­nian man which left 10 peo­ple dead in­clud­ing the gun­man him­self. — AFP

KONSTANZ: Po­lice­men stand in front of the Grey nightclub in Konstanz (Con­stance), south­ern Germany, where a gun­man opened fire, killing one and wound­ing four peo­ple be­fore be­ing shot by po­lice. — AFP

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