Two police officers were fatally wounded by gunfire during a traffic stop on county road 22 in the Kusel district of West Palatinate on Monday night. Two suspects were arrested on Monday evening. On Tuesday at noon, investigators will provide information about the case and the suspects. All information in the news ticker of FOCUS Online.
Two police officers were shot dead during a routine police check in Kusel (Rhineland-Palatinate) on Monday night. Police were able to arrest a 38-year-old and a 32-year-old suspect without resistance in the early evening, after the older man’s ID card and driver’s license were found next to the policewoman’s body. An arrest warrant has been issued for both of them, they are in pre-trial detention.
The motive according to the current state: cover-up poaching. However, the police are still in the middle of the investigation, as they announced on Tuesday at noon. Police officer reportedly fired 14 more times after attack, but suspects were not injured. The policewoman died at the scene of the crime. Details about the course of events and the motive are not yet known.
While the older suspect has so far made use of his right to remain silent, the younger one has admitted to poaching – but denies having shot himself. However, the police assumes that both have shot. The police assume that the weapons used were a hunting rifle and a shotgun.
There are ongoing investigations against both suspects for previous offenses, their social conditions "are fragile". If both suspects are found guilty of murder, they face life imprisonment, according to the arrest judge.
Statewide moment of silence for killed police officers on Friday
15.41 a.m: On Friday, according to police in Rhineland-Palatinate, there should be at 10.00 o’clock a national silence minute for the killed officials give. Also on Friday, an internal memorial service is planned in Kusel with the relatives as well as with colleagues of those killed.
From 10.00 o’clock also the Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate Malu Dreyer and Minister of the Interior Roger Lewentz (both SPD) are to be among the approximately 200 guests in the Fritz Wunderlich Hall. There is to be a public memorial service at a later date.
Investigators examine weapons arsenal – including murder weapons
Wednesday, 02. February, 15.38 a.m: Investigators are also focusing on the arsenal of weapons found on the two suspects after the fatal shooting of two young police officers in Rhineland-Palatinate. During searches of several houses, apartments, business premises and a hunting lodge in Saarland, more than a dozen firearms had been found – among them probably the murder weapons.
Information on whether one of the two arrested men is listed in the National Weapons Register as a "permit holder" The authorities did not say at first whether the two suspects were involved in the murder. They spoke on Wednesday of "very extensive investigations". According to information from the German Hunting Association, one of the two suspects had been denied a hunting license in 2020 for lack of reliability. The 38-year-old is believed to have been a poacher.
Lawyer of 32-year-old suspect puts all the blame on 38-year-old man
18.56 o’clock: The defense attorney for the 32-year-old crime suspect believes his client was wrongfully imprisoned – and blames the double murder of two police officers on 38-year-old suspect Andreas S.. Towards the "Bild" Christian Kessler said: "My client was at the scene of the crime, but did not take part in it." His client had cooperated with authorities and made a comprehensive statement. The 38-year-old has so far exercised his right to remain silent, police said at a press conference at noon on Tuesday.
The two are believed to have been acquaintances, officials say. "I can’t tell you what the relationship between the two is. As far as I know, this is not a long and close relationship", so Kessler.
Press conference from 14 to 15.3 p.m. to read
15.14 o’clock: The suspects are to be psychiatrically examined in order to find motives for covering up the poaching. The murders all seem inexplicable – one hopes that both suspects will give information to psychologists. Thus the press conference ends to the first realizations to the policeman murders in Kusel.
15.1 p.m: The police would now discuss funerals and memorial services in consultation with the families and life partners, the vice president does not give more details about it.
15.08 o’clock: The charge of hunting poaching is also the subject of the arrest warrant, in this serious case the sentence would range from three months to five years, clarifies the prosecutor.
15.07 o’clock: 148 tips had been received by the police as of this morning, according to Criminal Director Knautsche. Eyewitnesses to the crime, however, had not existed.
15.06 am: If both suspects are found guilty of murder, they can expect a life sentence, according to the magistrate. "However, this is just all still speculative", Schmolzi said, as the investigation is still ongoing. "It is a long way to a verdict."
15.01 o’clock: Currently, the police assume the cover-up of poaching as a motive, repeated Schmolzi. "I cannot explain anything else." Prosecutor Gehring adds, however, that the motive "seems strange" to them, too. There are ongoing investigations into previous crimes against both suspects.
Investigation into weapons found still ongoing
14.59 pm: Long guns, handguns and ammunition were found in several apartments. With two weapons, there would be much to suggest that these were the murder weapons. The investigations would still continue and need a weapons legal expertise.
14.51:00: Again on the deceased officers: the young officer is from Saarland, was about to complete her training. The officer is a "very experienced, very attentive, very respected colleague" had been, so Schmolzi.
14.49 a.m: In the social media would be found in part applause for the perpetrators. "This is inhumane to me", says the head of the criminal investigation department. "We will continue to actively search the Internet", so Schmolzi.
14.48 o’clock: Prosecutor Gehring reiterates that police attacks are often ideologically driven. "These people see the state as an object of hatred", so Gehring. "This is very worrying."
14.46 p.m: The police chief had already visited one of the victims’ families, and the entire police community was deeply shocked. "If you then hug the mother, that goes very close to you", says the president.
Bullet holes on car – suspects not injured after all
14.42 o’clock: Details of the shooting distance also would not be shared for now. In many places one could not report today yet more deeply.
14.41 o’clock: The two suspects had no gunshot wounds, but bullet holes have been found on the car.
14.39 o’clock: In the course of the crime, however, one is still in the area of the reasonable assumption. Nothing can be said at this time about the exact course of events. But the testimonial behavior of the suspects will also play an important role in this regard. "We assume that the vehicle has already been stationary", repeated Schmolzi however.
14.36 o’clock: During investigations with contacts to the first suspect, one could also conclude about the second suspect and assume that both were staying in an apartment complex with several rented apartments.
Police officer shot 14 more times after attack
14.35 o’clock: From the timing of the crime and the dynamics, investigators currently assume that two people shot and two weapons were used, the prosecutor said.
14.33:00: It is not yet possible to say that the 38-year-old is the main suspect. "He was the first suspect and through him we got to the other one", says Schmolzi. Also that the car was traveling without lights and was stopped because of it, they could not confirm.
14.31 o’clock: It is assumed that there are only two perpetrators, Schmolzi said. There have already been numerous searches, but these are only known contacts.
32-year-old denies shooting – but police suspect both of them
14.28 p.m: "The colleague emptied his magazine, so shot 14 more times", Schmolzi describes the course of events. In addition, the prosecutor confirms that both were hit with shots to the head.
14.26 p.m: The suspects are known to each other. The older suspect has so far remained silent, while the 32-year-old has denied having fired the shots himself. He did not say how the shooting occurred, but he admitted to poaching.
Both suspects were known to police – but no criminal record
14.24 a.m: It is not usual for police trainees to be deployed directly as a second person, Schmolzi said. The killed aspirant would have started her service in May completely and had successfully completed all trainings. In addition a civilian vehicle is not intended in principle for the control of persons. Why the two officers checked the vehicle is so far only speculation, for example, a game or car breakdown, he said.
14.10 pm: Several weapons were found, but they still have to be listed and compared. "We have the overview", says the deputy chief of police Schmolzi.
14.9 pm: The 38-year-old main suspect had already been brought to the attention of the police for hunting poaching and a traffic accident. The second suspect is known to the police for fraud. But none of them has a criminal record.
14.7 p.m: At present one is in the clarifications concerning weapon possession maps and hunt certifications of the two suspects, in this case one can say however still nothing loadable.
14.4 p.m: Senior public prosecutor Udo Gehring sees a "relationship of reason" at the police. "And I can’t reconcile that with the blind hatred that the officers are sometimes met with. I don’t think this blind hatred is provoked by the police."
14.2 p.m: The economic situation of the suspects is "anything but orderly", their social relations "fragile, explains the prosecutor. "The investigation is still at the beginning", stresses the police. The question of the motive is still open, as is the question of the exact course of events. "It is not part of our understanding of Germany that someone shoots guns in the open street just because he might have been caught poaching."
14.1 p.m: The alleged weapons are a hunting rifle and a shotgun. The investigators assume that one of the suspects has ever carried one of these weapons. The policewoman was killed with one shot of the shotgun, her colleague was hit four times in total.
14.11 am: The investigating judge had issued arrest warrants for the two suspects, and the defendants were now in custody pending trial. It is assumed that the two suspects "jointly killed" the police officers," Schmolzi said have. The two suspects had been poaching before, and several dead animals were found in the car of one of the suspects. With this car one had also come into the police control. The animals discovered the police officers, which is why they had proceeded to a personal control. As a result, fire would have been opened on the officers. Investigators assume that the suspects were trying to cover up their poaching.
14.09 hrs: In the further course of the investigation one had found the whereabouts of the suspect 38-year-old in Sulzbach, where he was then arrested by special forces. The man did not offer any resistance. The 32-year-old who was also arrested is a second suspect who was also arrested without resistance.
14.08 o’clock: There was quick coordination with the police in Saarland. "Several objects" Have been identified in Saarland as possible escape sites. There they were able to arrest one of the suspects.
14.07 o’clock: Police now also confirm that a suspect’s ID card and driver’s license were found on the body of the slain policewoman.
14.03 Watch: Now the deputy chief of police Schmolzi explains how the manhunt went. One has an operation because of a person "with high escape behavior" introduced, but so far have not been known for weapons. At 4.08 o’clock, the civilian patrolman who was later killed had "dubious persons" Reported that would have had the trunk full of game. After that, only the radio message "Come quickly, they’re shooting, they’re shooting" is left As well as a shot has been heard.
14.00 hrs: "Since yesterday morning 4.20 o’clock is valid for us a new era", The police chief of Westphalia begins the press conference. Since then, they have been working on the "best possible treatment" of this crime. He offers his condolences to the relatives of the victims. "We are also experiencing an incredible wave of solidarity and sympathy at the moment.", says the president. Also from other European countries had received expressions of sympathy.
Press conference on the bloody crime in Kusel
13.55 p.m: In five minutes, the press conference in Kusel on the case of the shot policemen is to begin. FOCUS Online is live.