By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BERLIN (Worthy News) – Germany was shaken Thursday by deadly shootings at a massive Mercedes-Benz car factory while police officers and firefighters were injured, some seriously, in a separate explosion in the western German town of Ratingen.
In the first incident, two people were killed when a 53-year-old man opened fire at a Mercedes-Benz factory in the southwestern city of Sindelfingen, police said.
Authorities said that those killed were two 44-year-old men. One of the victims reportedly died at the scene, the other later in hospital. There were no other reports of injuries.
Security staff detained the suspect and handed him to officers who arrested him without resistance, police said. A possible motive was still being investigated.
However, well-informed sources say the man worked at the sprawling Sindelfingen factory near Stuttgart. Mercedes-Benz produces its S-Class luxury model at the Sindelfingen plant, which employs about 35,000 people.
Hours after the shootings, police and firefighters responding to reports of a person in distress were injured in the town of Ratingen after they found a fire in one of the rooms.
A man then used a device to set off an explosion, the regional interior minister said. Heavily armed police stormed the flat and arrested a man aged 57, police added.
Herbert Reul, North Rhine-Westphalia’s interior minister, told officials that a body had also been found in the apartment, with Bild newspaper reporting that it was the arrested man’s mother.
Reul said 10 firefighters and two police officers had been injured. “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic news from Sindelfingen this morning. Our thoughts are with the victims, their families, and all colleagues on site,” Mercedes-Benz said in a statement.
It was not immediately clear what motivated the suspect, but security sources said “a targeted attack” could not be ruled out after several terror attacks hit Germany.
Reporters saw police snipers taking up positions in the area.
The two separate incidents in Germany came as authorities expressed alarm over other attacks and a recently uncovered “plot to overthrow the government.”
Germany has some of Europe’s strictest gun laws, and authorities said they want to tighten them further.
Current legislation requires anyone aged under 25 to pass a psychological evaluation before getting a gun license.
In 2021, there were around one million private gun owners in Germany, according to the National Firearms Registry.
They account for 5.7 million legal firearms and firearm parts, most owned by hunters.
Yet, with millions of weapons in the country, incidents happen including in March when a shooting at a Jehovah’s Witnesses meeting hall in Hamburg claimed seven lives, including that of an unborn child.
Authorities were also alarmed by a suspected plot to overthrow the government, which led to mass arrests in December.
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