Tuesday 18 June 2019

Irishman shot dead by German police after 'knife threats' to wife and child

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Stock picture

Robin Schiller and Ian Begley

An Irishman was shot dead by German police after they claimed he threatened his wife and new-born baby with a knife.

The fatal shooting happened in the city of Hamburg after police were alerted to a domestic incident at the property.

According to police, a 32-year-old woman, a Russian national, said her husband was threatening her and their new-born son at knife-point.

Local units were dispatched to the scene and police said the man then moved towards the officers while armed with the knife.

He was shot a number of times and fatally wounded during the incident.

His wife, the child and the police officers were not physically injured during the incident.

The man's wife is being cared for by the crisis intervention team of the German Red Cross, and the police officers by psychologists.

The Department of Foreign Affairs has confirmed it is providing consular assistance in relation to the incident.

The fatal shooting happened shortly before 10am local time on Wednesday morning near the town of Hausbruch.

The man has dual Irish-UK citizenship, and has family in Ireland as well as a brother living in France. German police said the man was British, but it is understood he travelled on an Irish passport.

The family are attempting to come to terms with the tragedy. The victim was last night described as an "incredible person" by a relative.

Investigators in Hamburg are continuing their inquiries into the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

A spokesman for Hamburg police said the matter was now being investigated by their Department of Internal Investigations (DIE) as police officers discharged their firearms resulting in a fatality.

Murder squad officers are also involved in the investigation.

German police yesterday declined to comment further on the identity of the deceased.

Such incidents are extremely rare in Germany. The chairman of the Hamburg police union, Joachim Lenders, described the fatal shooting as an "exceptional case".

The union later added: "We hope that our colleagues will process this application quickly and, above all, well."

A large number of emergency service vehicles attended the scene in the aftermath of the tragedy, including police and ambulance personnel.

Scenes of crime officers have also carried out a forensic examination of the house, which will assist police with their inquiries to determine exactly what happened in the Hamburg property on Wednesday morning.

Irish Independent

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