Police in Germany say two officers have been shot dead while on a routine patrol in the western part of the country
BERLIN — Two police officers were shot dead on a rural road in western Germany while on a routine patrol early Monday, police said. Two suspects were detained hours later.
The shooting happened during a traffic check near Kusel at about 4:20 a.m., police in Kaiserslautern said.
The officers radioed that shots were being fired, spokesman Bernhard Christian Erfort told n-tv television. But reinforcements who arrived at the scene were unable to help the 24-year-old woman and the 29-year-old man.
Erfort said he didn’t know whether the officers had seen something particular about the assailants’ vehicle that they wanted to check or whether it was just a routine check.
The German news agency dpa, citing unidentified security sources, said the officers reported finding dead game in the car before the shooting started. The Bild daily also reported that find, without citing sources. But what exactly happened remained unclear, as did a possible motive for the shooting.
Police called on local drivers not to pick up hitchhikers in the Kusel area as they hunted for the perpetrators there and in neighboring Saarland state.
Later Monday, police said they had arrested a suspect for whom they had put out a wanted notice. The 38-year-old man from the region was apprehended in Sulzbach, about 37 kilometers (over 20 miles) from the scene of the shooting. Police said he didn’t give any information on the case after his arrest around 5 p.m.
A second suspect, a 32-year-old man, also was detained. Investigators were working to determine whether he had anything to do with the shooting.
They said they were continuing to look for anyone else who may have been involved.
The younger officer killed Monday was still studying at a police academy, the GdP police union said.
“Regardless of the motive, this crime is reminiscent of an execution and shows that the police risk their lives for our security every day,” Interior Minister Nancy Faeser tweeted. She said “we will do everything” to catch the perpetrators.