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Blank shots fired in German city near US bases lead to arrest; no one hurt

Kaiserslautern, Germany (Wikimedia Commons/Robert Merkel)

A German man caused a commotion downtown Wednesday when he fired multiple blank shots with a starter pistol, scaring and threatening shoppers before he was taken into custody.

A German SWAT team arrested the 35-year-old man inside a bar near the K in Lautern mall and transported him to a mental health facility, a police statement said.

The 569th U.S. Forces Police Squadron also responded to a request for assistance from German police, the unit’s Facebook site said Wednesday.

The incident occurred around 4 p.m. in Kaiserslautern’s pedestrian area. The man was reported to have fired blanks from the pistol as he walked around the city, aiming the gun at others and threatening them, police said. No one was hurt.

Sections of the shopping district were closed off to the public for about 30 minutes.

Before walking downtown, the man reportedly pulled the gun on his neighbors during an argument, police said.

The man’s motives are not yet known and he remains in custody, Kaiserslautern police spokeswoman Christiane Lautenschlaeger said Thursday.

The Kaiserslautern area is home to about 50,000 U.S. military personnel and family members, and about 20 minutes from Ramstein Air Base.


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