An Ingolstadt hostage standoff has prompted Chancellor Merkel to cancel a rally. An armed man entered the Ingolstadt town hall this morning. He is currently holding two people hostage.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was due to speak at a political rally at 5 pm. The chancellor is campaigning for her third term. As the September election nears, she is speaking in numerous cities every week.
Representatives with the Christian Democratic Union announced that Merkel will skip the Ingolstadt rally. However she will still speak in Regensburg today. Tomorrow she will appear in Erlangen and Dachau.
Authorities do not believe the Ingolstadt hostage standoff is politically motivated. As reported by BBC, the suspect is a former friend of a city hall employee.
The suspect is identified as a 24-year-old patient of a local mental health facility. He reportedly stalked his former friend, and threatened members of the city hall staff.
His behavior eventually got him banned from the building.
The hostages include the suspect’s former friend, an unidentified man, and deputy mayor Sepp Misslbeck.
Misslbeck was set free several hours into the standoff.
Authorities have established contact with the suspect. Food and medication have been delivered to the location.
Mayor Alfred Lehmann explains that the suspect demanded that they “reverse a decision.” However, he was not specific about which decision he meant.
Officials suspect that he was referring to his ban from the building.
As reported by ABC News, the hostages are being held in Misslbeck’s office, which is located on the building’s first floor. The area has been evacuated and authorities have surrounded the building.
The building, which dates back to the 14 century, is one of two city halls in Ingolstadt. It is referred to as “the old city hall.” The building houses numerous administrative offices, including the tourism division and the mayor’s office.
As the Ingolstadt hostage standoff continues, authorities are attempting to negotiate with the suspect. There are no reported injuries at this time.
[Image via Wikimedia]