German town official killed in murder-suicide: Police

BERLIN (AFP) - A gunman shot and killed a top official of the northern German town of Hamelin on Friday before turning the firearm on himself, police said.

"The perpetrator killed district administrator Ruediger Butte and then killed himself," a police spokesman said.

Gunfire broke out on Friday morning at the main administrative building in the community of 60,000 people.

Police said Mr Butte was killed in his office.

Information about the identity of the assailant or his possible motives was not immediately available but he was described as an older man.

Mr Butte, 63, was married with two adult children and five grandchildren, according to his profile on the district website.

He served as a police officer, rising through the ranks to become the head of the State Crime Investigations Office of Lower Saxony from 2001 to 2005.

He had served as district administrator of Hamelin-Pyrmont, an elected office, since 2005.

The town is best known for the folk tale of the Pied Piper, later popularised by the Brothers Grimm.