Terrorism ruled out in German disco shooting

A 34-year-old man opened fire in a nightclub in the southern German city of Konstanz on Sunday, killing one person and seriously injuring three others, police said but they ruled out 'terrorism' as a motive.
Policemen in front of the Grey disco in the southern German town of Konstanz, where a gunman opened fire, killing one person and wounding three seriously.
Policemen in front of the Grey disco in the southern German town of Konstanz, where a gunman opened fire, killing one person and wounding three seriously.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

BERLIN • A gunman who attacked a nightclub in southern Germany yesterday was an Iraqi citizen who had lived in the country for a long time and was not an asylum seeker, police said, ruling out terrorism as a motive.

Officers reported receiving emergency calls from terrified clubbers at around 4.30am after the man began shooting in the nightclub in an industrial zone in the city of Konstanz, killing one person on the spot.

Three other people in the club were seriously wounded.

"We're not assuming that this is an act of terrorist violence," Konstanz police spokesman Fritz Bezikofer told news channel NTV.

Another police source said the 34-year-old man could have been motivated by personal relationship issues.

Said Mr Bezikofer: "The motives of the man who acted alone are unclear. We are still investigating, but the circumstances surrounding the events at the disco in the evening before the shooting are a bit clearer and this led us to rule out a terrorism background."

In an earlier statement, police said the gunman "was critically injured in a shoot-out with police officers as he left the disco, and later succumbed to his wounds in hospital".

One officer was also injured.

The incident comes just two days after Germany was shaken by a knife attack in the northern port city of Hamburg. A 26-year-old Palestinian man killed one person and injured six others in an assault at a supermarket. He was a known extremist with psychological problems, and investigators said his motives remain unclear.

Germany has been on high alert about the threat of a terrorist attack, especially since last December's truck rampage through a Berlin Christmas market that claimed 12 lives.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 31, 2017, with the headline 'Terrorism ruled out in German disco shooting'. Print Edition | Subscribe