The two suspected killers were arrested on Monday afternoon in Sulzbach, about 37 kilometers from the crime scene.
The two men arrested for the murder of two police officers on a rural road in Germany allegedly fired hunting weapons after they were caught with wild animals in their van, investigators said Tuesday. Fatal attacks on police are rare in Germany and Monday’s killings near Kusel in the west of the country shocked German civil society.
A 24-year-old officer, who was still attending the police academy, and a 29-year-old male colleague were shot to the head. The two suspected killers were arrested on Monday afternoon in Sulzbach, about 37 kilometers from the crime scene.
Today, a judge ordered them to be held in custody on suspicion of murder, with a possible indictment pending, prosecutor Stefan Orthen said at a press conference in Kaiserslautern.
At around 4:20 a.m. on Monday, the two officers radioed that they had encountered “dubious people” on their patrol and that “their entire suitcase [from the van] was full of wild animals,” said police officer Heiner Schmolzi. . The two agents at the scene called for reinforcements and, shortly afterward, radioed: “Come quickly, they are firing”.
Reinforcements who arrived about 10 minutes later found one officer dead and another seriously injured, but also the prime suspect’s driver’s license and an identification card. The 38-year-old man was found and detained hours later, as was the other suspect, 32, and the van with a suitcase full of dead animals.
Investigators believe the suspects used at least two weapons – a shotgun and a hunting rifle – and that both fired at police officers, according to Orthen, when surprised by the poaching proceeds. The suspects’ financial situation was apparently “anything but orderly” and their social standing was “quite fragile,” Orthen continued.
Investigators acknowledged that they will have to explore the motive further, but said they had no indication of political motivation and were still investigating whether the suspects had a firearms license. None of the suspects has a record, according to officials. However, one of them was known to the authorities on suspicion of poaching and escape from the scene of an accident, and the other was on suspicion of fraud.
While the 38-year-old suspect did not provide any information, the 32-year-old told investigators the pair were hunting and reported a stop and shooting operation, but denied having fired any bullets, Orthen added.
The crime caused great consternation in Germany and was condemned by the entire parliamentary spectrum, both from the Olaf Scholz coalition and from the main opposition parties. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser called the killing of the police officers an “execution”.
Source: with agencies