Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Landshut Shootings & Suicide

Updated Insight: While this is disturbing news, it appears to be an extension of a domestic violence situation into a courthouse. Two people are confirmed dead, one man and a woman he knew.

___ Earlier information shared___

At least two people were killed and several more injured by a gunman in a courthouse in the southern German town of Landshut, Bavaria, on Tuesday, April 7, 2009, a police spokesman said.

Leonard Mayer, spokesman for police, told N-TV television that authorities believed the gunman had killed himself.

"There are two confirmed dead, we do not yet know if the shooter was among them," Mayer said. He was unaware of any warning: "It came out of the blue."

Mayer said the assailant, believed to be aged 60, had apparently killed himself and wounded others in a hail of bullets unleashed during what was reportedly a hearing in an inheritance case.

It was not immediately clear whether the gunman was involved in the case being heard before the court or was simply a spectator.

"The sniper is no longer on the move," Mayer said. "The situation has calmed down."

Another police spokesman, Thomas Ploessl, told news channel N24 the courthouse in the city about 60 kilometres (40 miles) northeast of Munich had been evacuated and barricaded.

Matthias Loew from local radio station Radio Trausnitz said the shooting took place at around 10:15 local time (0815 GMT).

"The talk was of four seriously wounded," Loew said, although authorities have not confirmed the number.

The court employs 128 people including 34 judges, according to its website.

The incident comes after a 17-year-old gunned down 15 people in the German town of Winnenden, on Wednesday, March 11, 2009 (exactly four weeks ago tomorrow).

The teenage killer shot himself when police tried to apprehend him.

A little background on Landshut:

Landshut (Austro-Bavarian: Landshuad) is a city in Bavaria in the south-east of Germany, belonging to both Eastern and Southern Bavaria. Situated on the banks of the River Isar, Landshut acts is the capital of Lower Bavaria, one of the seven administrative regions of the Free State of Bavaria.

During World War II, a subcamp of Dachau concentration camp was located in the city to provide slave labour to local industry.

Owing to its characteristic coat of arms, the city is also often called "Three Helmets City" (German: Dreihelmenstadt).

Landshut lies in the centre of Lower Bavaria, and is part of the Alpine foothills. The River Isar runs through the city centre. Landshut is about 72 kilometres (45 mi) northeast of Munich.

The city is of national importance because of its predominantly Gothic architecture within the historic city center, especially Trausnitz Castle and the Church of Saint Martin featuring the world's tallest brick-tower. Among other Gothic architecture are the churches St. Jodok and Holy Spirit, but also the Town Hall and the Ländtor, the only still existing gate of the medieval fortification.

This information will be updated as more news develops.

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