Lower Saxony: Man threatens employees in job center with toy gun

A man armed with a toy gun marched into the job center in Lehrte in the Hanover region and triggered a massive police operation.

Lower Saxony: Man threatens employees in job center with toy gun

A man armed with a toy gun marched into the job center in Lehrte in the Hanover region and triggered a massive police operation. “The suspect threatened both employees and frightened customers,” said police spokesman Dennis Diroll at the scene on Thursday. Late in the evening, the police announced: "We are currently examining whether the requirements for a custodial measure against the 53-year-old are present."

The man was arrested fairly quickly - and didn't offer any resistance. According to police, a toy gun and a pocket knife were confiscated from him. The 53-year-old is said to have had no accomplices. According to police, no one was injured. The background to the crime is still being investigated.

The large-scale operation in the area of ​​the job center on Burgdorfer Strasse in the city center began at 10:15 a.m. Initial reports of a possible hostage-taking were not confirmed. The area around the building in the city center was cordoned off to cars and buses and people should avoid the area, it said in a press release.

Massive police presence

After the 53-year-old was arrested, officers took people out of the center and some were escorted to the nearby city library, a dpa reporter observed. The investigation - including threats - was still ongoing, and witnesses were questioned further in the afternoon. Pastors were also on duty for those affected. “Fortunately no people were hurt and there were no other suspects,” said a police spokeswoman in Hanover.

The police had combed the sprawling building, which also houses a savings bank, with a massive contingent of heavily armed forces. A special operations command (SEK) was not deployed, it was said. The local police confirmed that submachine guns, helmets and protective vests were part of the officers' usual equipment due to the latent threat of terrorism. Half a dozen personnel carriers were temporarily parked in front of the center. It should be ruled out that there were other people involved.

The barriers at the site in the area of ​​the job center were lifted at midday. According to authorities, security was restored. The police ended the large-scale operation and withdrew their forces in the afternoon.

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