Jul 4 2012
A gunman whose girlfriend was being evicted from her apartment killed four people, including the new owner and a court bailiff before turning a shotgun on himself.
A commando team stormed the apartment in the German city of Karlsruhe, but the 53-year-old gunman and the victims were already dead.
Also killed were the girlfriend, a 55-year-old woman who was found on her bed with a gunshot wound to her chest, near the gunman's body. The bailiff and new owner were found with their hands bound on a couch, dead from gunshot wounds to the head. A locksmith was found dead on the floor.
"It was a terrible crime," said Hildegard Gerecke, the Karlsruhe police chief. "Nothing could be done to stop it and nothing could be done to save them."
She said the suspect, whose name was not released in accordance with German privacy laws, had no history of violence that would have made the bailiff and the others expect any danger. The woman had fallen behind on rent and the apartment was sold at foreclosure auction. At about 8am local time the bailiff, a locksmith, and a social worker showed up to evict her.
When nobody opened the door they began trying to force the lock, then the suspect opened the door and ushered them in, said deputy police chief Roland Lay, who ran the operation. The new owner of the apartment, a 49-year-old man, showed up minutes later.
Once all were inside the suspect told them to sit but when the bailiff refused, the suspect went into another room, grabbed a pistol, and shot him twice in the thigh, Lay said. A struggle for the pistol ensued with the 33-year-old locksmith, and the suspect shot him four or five times, including in the head.
About 45 minutes later, after binding the hands of the others and putting them on the couch, the suspect let the social worker go and he informed police of the shootings.
About ten minutes before noon, when police smelled smoke from the apartment, they used explosives to blow through the door and stormed in, finding the carpet on fire and the bodies.
In addition to the shotgun, police found a rifle, two pistols, a dummy hand grenade and a lot of ammunition. It was not clear where the man got the weapons, which were not registered.