Thursday, March 13, 2008

Soldier killed in standoff after taking ex-girlfriend hostage

Soldier killed in standoff after taking ex-girlfriend hostage

By David Rising - The Associated Press
Posted : Friday Mar 14, 2008 11:07:59 EDT

BERLIN — A U.S. soldier was fatally shot in a confrontation with German police after taking his ex-girlfriend hostage, police said Friday.

The 30-year-old soldier, stationed in Schweinfurt, tied up his ex-girlfriend in her apartment in the southern town of Koenigsberg and threatened her with violence, police spokesman Karl-Heinz Schmitt said.

She managed to escape and alert police, who then started a hunt for the soldier and used a helicopter with a thermal camera to locate him near the apartment at about 11 p.m. Thursday.

Police commandos found and confronted the soldier, who threatened them with an M4 rifle, according to a police statement.

“During the attempt to arrest the armed man, officers were threatened with the weapon” and police opened fire, the statement said.

The soldier was critically injured, and rushed to a Schweinfurt hospital. Emergency surgery was performed, but he died several hours later, police said.

The M4 rifle had only half a magazine when impounded, but it was not immediately clear whether he had fired it, police said.

The investigation also has determined that the M4 had been legally in the soldier’s possession during the day but that he had not followed regulations requiring him to turn it in in the evening, police said.

Prosecutors in nearby Bamberg said there were no grounds to open an investigation of the police involved.

“The officer had to assume that the suspect would shoot at him with the weapon,” police said.
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