Ingolstadt, Germany — Two hostages were freed on Monday after police ended a standoff at a city hall in Ingolstadt. They stormed the building to free the gunman’s captives.
While the hostage-taker was shot and wounded in the incident, the captives were unharmed. Police have yet to release the kidnapper’s name.
ABC News reports that police spokesman Guenther Beck explained the man was shot in his shoulder and legs and was taken to a hospital after the standoff was over.
The kidnapper was apparently carrying a plastic gun that looked very real and also had a big knife. In all, the 24-year-old man took four hostages.
The incident was apparently sparked after the man was banned from the building for stalking a female employee, who was also one of the hostages.
The BBC notes that the Ingolstadt hostage situation also forced German Chancellor Angela Merkel to cancel a campaign visit to the Bavarian town. While the man had been banned from the building, the conflict escalated after he was charged with breaking the exclusion order.
The town’s mayor, Alfred Lehmann, commented that the term “stalking” was trivializing the situation. He added that the man “had a whole list of previous convictions, which go far beyond what one would normally term stalking.”
But it all came to a head when he entered the building and took people hostage. He was described as mentally ill and homeless by officials. He was reportedly in psychiatric treatment until last month, though it isn’t clear why he was released.
Shortly before police stormed the town’s city hall, the hostage taker’s psychiatrist reportedly entered the building to speak with his patient.
The Ingolstadt hostage crisis took nine hours and involved more than 200 police officers who surrounded the city hall building. Forty firefighters and 50 paramedics were also on the scene.
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