Note: This article has been updated several times.
After almost five hours, the police ended the hostage-taking in Karlsruhe. The emergency services entered the pharmacy and arrested a suspect, the police said on Friday evening. According to initial findings, no one was injured. The forces searched the building. Eyewitnesses reported two loud bangs around 9:10 p.m., police officers ran towards the pharmacy.
A hostage-taker had several people in his power for hours, the police were deployed in large numbers and cordoned off the area over a large area. For tactical reasons, the police initially did not want to provide any information about possible demands and ransom demands.
One had contact "into the pharmacy," said the spokesman on site. There was no danger to the population. Nevertheless, the police called on people to avoid the area of operation and to follow the instructions of the emergency services. A school for accommodation was opened for residents. The police said that anyone who could not go home at the moment because of the blocking measures had the opportunity to go to the Nebeniusschule.
The crime scene is in the middle of downtown Karlsruhe on one of the main streets. The forces cordoned off the area over a wide area. Numerous police and emergency services vehicles were seen on the street.
The Karlsruhe trade fair canceled two evening events at short notice due to the situation. An event with dog trainer Martin Rütter and a master concert are affected, said a spokeswoman for the fair on Friday on request.
She assumes that the event in the Black Forest Hall is sold out, which holds several thousand people. The concert was to take place in the nearby concert hall. The spokeswoman assumed that around 1000 tickets would be sold. There is currently no way for visitors to get through anyway: both venues are part of the festival site, which is close to the site that the police have cordoned off over a large area.
The prominent dog trainer Rütter called on his fans not to come to an event near the site that he had planned for the evening but had to cancel. "The event has just been canceled because an armed hostage-taking is taking place in a pharmacy 100 meters as the crow flies," said Rütter in a video published on his Instagram channel. "Please don't come to the hall, it's cordoned off over a large area here, and please don't come close either."
There was only one incident in the pharmacy in January: A masked robber got into the personnel area, threatened an employee with a saw-like tool and fled with a liter of methadone. A few days later, a suspect in this case was identified and arrested.