Police in Germany said that they killed a 32-year-old man — in front of his 69-year-old mother who had been a passenger — in the Southern city of Stuttgart. The man, who was believed to be suffering from mental illness, was shot multiple times after threatening police with a 70-centimetre (2’4″) sword.
The police were called to the scene on Saturday following reports of a man recklessly driving down the wrong side on a roundabout, before crashing his car head-on into an advertising sign, with his mother riding in the passenger seat.
Police tried to subdue the man with pepper spray but he was undeterred and continued to threaten and move towards the police officers with his sword. Officers opened fire and the suspect later died in hospital of his injuries, reports Deutsche Welle.
During a search of the perpetrator’s home, the police discovered what they described as signs of mental illness, as well as two pellet guns, a crossbow, and another sword.
Police shootings are a rare occurrence in Germany, where 11 people were shot to death by police in 2018.
The shooting on Saturday has prompted police unions to call for all officers in Germany to be equipped with ‘Taser’ stun-guns.
“Between a baton, pepper spray and a firearm, from the point of view of the German Police Union, officers are missing an important resource,” said Ralf Kusterer, the vice president of the union.
On the same day as the rampage in Stuttgart, police in the German town of Neunkirchen were threatened by a man wielding a machete and a gun. Police were able to subdue the man with a Taser and arrested him, according to Der Tagesspiegel.
In April Breitbart London reported that as a result of the rising knife crime in Germany a woman’s magazine Illu der Frau published an article entitled “How do I treat a stab wound?”.
Official statistics on knife crime in Germany remain largely elusive, however, with the police union admitting that release of such figures may take up to several years.