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German police gun down sword-wielding man

Chase Winter
December 29, 2019

Police said a man wielding a sword was shot dead after he threatened officers. Pellet guns, a crossbow and another sword were found at his home.

Police with pistol
Image: picture-alliance/M. Brandhuber/O. Network

German police shot dead a man who threatened officers with a sword on Saturday after he crashed his car in the southern city of Stuttgart.

Police said in a statement that the 32-year-old man tried to attack two officers with a 70-centimeter (2.3-foot) blade and was shot multiple times after pepper spray failed to deter him. The man later died of gunshot wounds in the hospital.

Read moreGermany: Man killed with 'sword' in Stuttgart

Police had been alerted to a reckless driving situation after the man drove in the wrong direction around a roundabout and brushed the side of a building.

He then crashed head on into an advertising pillar with his 69-year-old mother in the passenger seat. Police found the two a short distance from the crash when the shooting took place. The mother was injured, but police said they were not sure how she sustained the injuries.

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Later, a search of the man's home found two pellet guns, a crossbow and another sword, police said, adding that the dead man appeared to have had a psychological illness.

Police shootings in Germany are rare. According to the DPA news agency, police shot dead 11 people in 2018.

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In response to Saturday's shooting, the police union demanded all officers be equipped with tasers.

"Between a baton, pepper spray and a firearm, from the point of view of the German Police Union, officers are missing an important resource," Ralf Kusterer, the vice president of the union, told DPA.

German police - on patrol with bodycams

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