After the deadly shots at two police officers in Kusel, there is still bewilderment. The possible poacher motive is also irritating. Meanwhile, the investigation continues. The news ticker.
- After the fatal shots at two young police officers*, the search for the motive continues.
- The two fatalities were remembered across Germany on Friday (see update from February 4, 3:30 p.m.) .
- The head of the state hunting association expressed his horror at the suspect (see update from February 4, 8:30 p.m.).
- This news ticker on the fatal shots in the Palatinate is continuously updated.
Update from February 4, 8:30 p.m .: The horror after the double murder of two police officers who were shot at the beginning of the week after they had checked two suspected poachers is still great in Germany. A few days after the crime, the head of the state hunting association Dieter Mahr looked with shock at the alleged perpetrators from the hunter community.
“They are not hunters, they are criminals,” Mahr told Focus Online , referring to the two suspects’ poaching activities. Based on his behavior, the head of the hunting association assumed that the main suspect in the police double murder had a “kind of criminal energy” even before the crime. According to current knowledge, the 38-year-old is said to have issued hunting invitations to foreign areas in which even he was not authorized to hunt.
“He doesn’t act as a huntsman, but as a criminal. It really has nothing to do with hunting anymore,” said Mahr. “It’s all about killing as much game as possible, plain and simple.”
Kusel police murder: minute’s silence and bell ringing for the victims
Update from February 4th, 3.30 p.m .: With a minute’s silence and sometimes with the ringing of the bells, many police officers and citizens in Rhineland-Palatinate and throughout Germany thought of the two police officers shot in the western Palatinate on Friday. At the same time as the start of an internal police memorial service in Kusel, Palatinate, at 10:00 a.m., there was also a nationwide minute’s silence. In Kusel, not far from the scene of the crime, a non-public funeral service took place, which was also attended by the Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer, and the Interior Minister, Roger Lewentz (both SPD).
The non-public funeral service began on Friday at 10 a.m. in the Fritz-Wunderlich-Halle in Kusel. About 200 guests were expected, including relatives and colleagues of the victims. Numerous people also commemorated the two victims in front of the police headquarters in Kusel. The flag hung at half-mast in front of the building, mourners lit candles and laid flowers.
In Rhineland-Palatinate, all police headquarters had called on their officers to take part in the minute’s silence. In Mainz, the members of the state parliament investigation committee on the Ahr flood disaster took part in the silent commemoration. Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser (SPD) took part in a minute’s silence by the federal police at the main station in Frankfurt. Faeser thanked the police officers who “risk their lives every day” for the safety of society.
Murders by Kusel: “Disgusting things” about police officers are circulating online
Update from February 4th, 10.50 a.m .: The unbelievable act in Kusel in Rhineland-Palatinate causes stunned days after the fatal shots at two police officers. The Prime Minister of Rhineland-Palatinate, Malu Dreyer, has now sharply condemned malicious comments on the Internet. “We are currently experiencing disgusting things online, that this act is cheered by some,” said the SPD politician on Friday in Kusel. There she attended a non-public funeral service together with Interior Minister Roger Lewentz.
The two police officers – a 29-year-old chief inspector and his 24-year-old colleague, a police candidate – were shot dead early Monday morning during a traffic check just a few kilometers from Kusel. Two 32 and 38-year-old men who were arrested on the same day and are now in custody are under strong suspicion.
Dreyer continued on Friday with a view to comments on the Internet: “It’s just inhuman and bad.” The authorities would not tolerate insults or threats – and not only delete them, but pursue and punish them. Interior Minister Lewentz said that on Friday night there had already been an access in the Idar-Oberstein area. “There, a person had called online to lure police officers onto dirt roads and shoot them there,” he said. The apartment was opened and the person was overwhelmed. The state does not accept such calls. “The process is ongoing,” said Lewentz.
Update from February 3, 5:50 p.m .: More and more details about the killing of two police officers in Kusel, Rhineland-Palatinate * are leaking out. The suspect had previously been in trouble with the law. And not only that.
Police killing in Kusel: Saarland judiciary has already investigated suspects
Update from February 3, 4:20 p.m .: The Saarland judiciary has repeatedly investigated the suspects in the case of the two police officers killed in Rhineland-Palatinate in the past. In 2006, one of the two men was sentenced by the Saarbrücken district court to a fine of 90 daily rates of 50 euros each for negligent bodily harm in connection with a hunting accident, the public prosecutor’s office in Saarbrücken announced on Thursday.
At the time, the 38-year-old had seriously injured a fellow hunter with a shot in the neck and chest area and in particular in the area of one eye. In addition, the man is said to have shot a deer in a foreign hunting ground in 2017 and then drove dangerously towards a man in his car. The case was dropped because he had an alibi.
According to the public prosecutor, further investigations are underway against the 38-year-old – among other things because of a possible fake crime in order to get money from an insurance company. The man did not admit the crime, it said. In addition, the prosecution in Saarland has initiated investigations against him on suspicion of poaching – “as a result of the current events”.
The second suspect arrested, a 32-year-old, has been convicted three times since 2018, including for traffic offenses. Several media had previously reported on this. The men are in custody on suspicion of joint murder and poaching. They are said to have shot a 24-year-old police officer and a 29-year-old chief inspector during a traffic check near Kusel in the Palatinate early Monday morning. The investigators suspect that the alleged perpetrators wanted to cover up poaching. The trunk of her car was full of dead animals.
Update from February 3, 4:05 p.m .: A total of 22 fallow deer were found in the car of the men who allegedly shot two police officers in the West Palatinate. In addition, animal waste was secured in the sausage kitchen of a suspect in Sulzbach, Saarland, the Kaiserslautern public prosecutor announced on Thursday.
The two suspects are in custody on charges of joint murder and commercial poaching. The 32 and 38-year-old Saarlanders are said to have shot a police candidate and a chief inspector during a traffic check early Monday morning. Investigators suspect that the men wanted to cover up poaching.
According to the public prosecutor’s office, 20 disembodied wild animal carcasses and animal waste were discovered at the whereabouts of a suspect in Spiesen-Elversberg in Saarland. In front of the door there was a refrigerated trailer with meat packaged ready for sale and worth several thousand euros. The results of the searches would be evaluated further, it said.
Shots at police officers: suspect had apparently stored thousands of tons of meat
Update from February 3, 12:50 p.m .: It could be the turning point in the case of the police officers killed in a traffic check: One of the two suspects described details from the fateful night for the first time. Didn’t the 32-year-old actually shoot the two officers (see update from February 3, 9:30 a.m.)? Both men are currently in custody on suspicion. Investigators assume that both men shot the police officers. Investigators are currently considering the fact that illegal poaching should be covered up as a motive.
As Der Spiegel now reports, investigators are said to have found tons of meat ready for sale in the premises of the 38-year-old suspect. Documents are also said to have been discovered. These would show that the 38-year-old had earned around 40,000 euros from his poaching in the past few months.
It has already become known in the past few days that the father of the family had to file for bankruptcy with his bakery a few years ago. As Der Spiegel further reports, investigations are said to have been carried out against the 38-year-old for delaying bankruptcy and insurance fraud. Was the suspect afraid of losing his source of income through the discovery of poaching? This information has not yet been officially confirmed.
Turn in the police murder of Kusel? Suspect names details from the night of the crime for the first time
Update from February 3rd, 9.30 a.m .: After the deadly shots at two police officers in Kusel, there is still stunned over the probable motive. Did the two suspects actually want to cover up their poaching and therefore killed two young police officers?
In an interview with Focus Online , the criminal defense lawyer for the younger suspect spoke out. Defense attorney Christian Kessler explains that the fatal shots were fired by the 38-year-old and not by his 32-year-old client. However, prosecutors continue to believe that the shots were fired by both men. The 32-year-old Florian V. had spoken to investigators about the crime shortly after his arrest. The 32-year-old admitted to having poached and to having been there when the shots were fired, but the young man does not want to have fired at the police officers himself.
As Focus Online further reports, the 32-year-old also stated in his statement that the 38-year-old had only asked for his help with poaching. Andreas S. had already been noticed for poaching in the past. As the 32-year-old is said to have explained, the 38-year-old asked for his help, for example to lift the heavy game into the car. The younger suspect is said to have explained that Andreas S. shot the young policewoman in the head with a shotgun on the night of the crime. The 38-year-old is said to have fired four shots at the 29-year-old police officer with a single-shot rifle.
As Focus Online further reports, the 32-year-old is said to have assured investigators that he had never used a weapon himself. He was also unable to intervene in the events on the morning of the crime. According to this, previous studies of gunshot residue on the hands should not be able to refute this statement. However, this information has not yet been officially confirmed.
Update from February 3, 6.45 a.m .: Two young police officers were killed by shots during a traffic check. The sadness is great. The crime shocked. According to the police in Rhineland-Palatinate, there will be a nationwide minute’s silence for the officers killed at 10 a.m. on Friday. An internal funeral service is also planned in the town church in Kusel. Due to Corona, access is limited. However, the funeral service should also be broadcast on the market square.
Police murders: the main suspect was not allowed to carry weapons because of bodily harm
One of the main suspects is said to have been charged with assault, reports SWR. As a result, his license to carry a weapon was revoked. The 38-year-old was also accused of poaching, but was never convicted due to a lack of evidence.
During a house search in Spiesen-Elversberg, Saarland, the police found a large arsenal of weapons on Tuesday. According to the dpa news agency, which refers to security circles, the police found five handguns, a repeating rifle, ten other long guns, a crossbow, a silencer and ammunition. According to the information, the investigators assume that the arrested 38-year-old suspect had access to the weapons.
Update from February 2, 6:43 p.m .: The fatal shots at two young police officers in the Palatinate not only cause dismay across Germany, they also highlight the dangers and risks in the police profession. The federal situation picture of the Federal Criminal Police Office shows: Violence against police officers has been increasing for years. The number of victims increased by 42 percent between 2012 and 2020. Measured against the number of inhabitants, acts of violence against police officers are most widespread in the statistical sense in Berlin, Bremen and Hamburg, followed by Thuringia and Saarland.
“From what is known so far, the two behaved as taught in operational training. With the flashlight in hand, the policewoman checked the papers while her colleague secured them,” says Jörg Radek, Deputy Federal Chairman of the Police Union (GdP).
“It was a completely sudden attack, there is no room for manoeuvre,” sums up Rainer Wendt, Federal Chairman of the German Police Union. He criticizes that police officers in some places do not always have sufficient opportunity to practice shooting regularly due to staff shortages. In the case of the two officers who were shot, however, that should not have played a role.
Police murder in Kusel: A funeral service and a minute’s silence are planned for Friday
Update from February 2nd, 2.40 p.m .: After the deadly shots at two young police officers, a commemoration of the victims is planned in Rhineland-Palatinate. “There will be a minute’s silence nationwide on Friday at 10 a.m.,” said a spokesman for the police headquarters in Kaiserslautern on Wednesday. It is currently unclear whether there will also be a public commemoration event at another time.
An internal funeral service with the relatives and colleagues of the dead is also planned in Kusel on Friday. From 10 a.m., the Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer and Interior Minister Roger Lewentz (both SPD*) should also be among the 200 guests in the local Fritz-Wunderlich-Halle.
Meanwhile, the Rhineland-Palatinate Police Foundation set up the “Kusel – Two of us” donation account for the families of the two dead. The donations are also intended to help all colleagues cope with grief who were directly involved in the events – or who worked with the colleague in everyday life, as the foundation announced.
Kusel: After fatal shots – ex-employees of suspects express themselves
Update from February 2, 11:40 a.m.: Did the two suspects execute the two young police officers because they were caught poaching? Investigators are currently investigating this unbelievable suspicion. Meanwhile, more and more details about the victims and the suspects are coming to light (see original message below).
The 38-year-old, whose identity papers were found at the crime scene, is said to have been conspicuous for poaching in the past. The suspect is said to have made a living from poaching after his bakery filed for bankruptcy. This is reported by several media unanimously.
In an interview with Bild , two former employees of Johannes S. now express themselves, drawing an unpleasant picture of the suspect. One of the women reports that the 38-year-old was often “aggressive and rude”. It was noted that employees were just objects for him. It was an open secret that the 38-year-old should always have had a gun in the office. Nevertheless, she did not trust her former boss to do such an act.
And another former employee of the suspect reported in the conversation with picture : “When he entered the room, you winced. If you made a mistake at work, it became very mean. He’s not a kind man. And if we didn’t work the way he wanted, then things went smoothly.” Even if she didn’t get along with her boss at all, the woman emphasizes: “As a family man, he actually did quite well. It’s easy to make mistakes about people.”
Police murder in Kusel: Possible motive shocked – 29-year-old dropped off dramatic radio
Original message from February 2, 2022: Kusel – The horror after the deadly shots at police officers * continues, after the arrests of the two suspects, more and more details about what is happening are leaking out. On Tuesday, February 1, 2022, then a shocking suspicion: did the two men just shoot the two police officers because of illegal poaching?
Two police officers executed in Kusel: possible motive shocked
The two men arrested on the day of the crime are suspected of murder after the fatal shots. However, investigators are also investigating further details in the case on Wednesday. Among other things, the authorities want to clarify whether the men had gun ownership cards. This was confirmed by the public prosecutor’s office in Kaiserslautern. It had already become known on Tuesday that a large arsenal of weapons was secured when the two men were arrested on Monday. Investigators also want to follow up around 150 tips that had been received about the crime so far.
Since Tuesday, the 32 and 38-year-old Saarlanders have been in custody on suspicion of joint murder and poaching. They are said to have shot a 24-year-old police officer and a 29-year-old chief inspector early Monday morning during a traffic check in the Kusel district – in the south-west of Rhineland-Palatinate, on the border with Saarland. The motive that investigators have been considering so far leaves you speechless. It is assumed that the men wanted to cover up poaching. The trunk of her van was full of game.
Kusel: Two police officers killed in traffic control – did both suspects actually shoot?
The older man has not yet commented on the matter, the younger man admitted to poaching and described the police check and shots, it said. According to prosecutors, he denied shooting himself. However, the investigators assume that at least two weapons were used – and that they were also used by both suspects. During the routine check, the young police officer is said to have been suddenly shot in the head, she was probably completely unsuspecting.
As is now known, her colleague is said to have fought for his life early Monday morning. As picture reports, the 29-year-old is said to have sent a radio message to his colleagues. “Come quickly, they’re shooting at us,” the young policeman said. As police vice president Heiner Schmolzi explains, the 29-year-old is said to have emptied his entire magazine. However, the young policeman had no chance against the two men. He shot his killers 14 times, but by the time reinforcements arrived, the young man was no longer responsive. The two alleged perpetrators had already left the crime scene by this time.
New details after shots in Kusel – both men had already noticed
The suspects have no prior convictions. The 38-year-old had already noticed the police because of hunting poaching and traffic accident escape, the 32-year-old because of fraud, it said. According to prosecutors, the men now face life imprisonment. “It is not part of our idea of Germany for someone to shoot hunting weapons on the open road because they might be caught poaching,” said senior public prosecutor Udo Gehring. Kaiserslautern police chief Michael Denne said that the entire Rhineland-Palatinate police force was “very concerned” after the death of his colleagues. “Since 4:22 a.m., a new time calculation has applied to us. We are shocked, deeply appalled and sad.” The brutal act is a shrill alarm call for all of us*, commented Merkur Editor-in-Chief Georg Anastasiadis. *Merkur.de is an offer from IPPEN.MEDIA
List of rubrics: © Sebastian Gollnow/dpa