Austrian police find charred body in hunt for gunman who shot four people dead


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The Independent Online

Austrian police hunting for a man who killed four people have found the charred body of the suspected gunman.

Police discovered the remains after pushing through a wall into a hidden basement of the farm grounds where the suspect had been holed up in.

Regional police spokesman Roland Scherscher told reporters Swat teams discovered the body after extinguishing a fire in a cellar that was only accessible via a hidden door.

He said the corpse was so badly burned that it was impossible to identify it but police assumed it was that of the gunman. Police said final identification and cause of death would have to wait until forensic experts had finished their work.

The gunman killed three police officers and a paramedic on Tuesday before barricading himself in a farm building near Melk, about 70 kilometres (40 miles) west of Vienna. During the 12-hour standoff, he shot sporadically at heavily armed police.

Police said he fired the last shot about an hour before helmeted officers wearing body armour and toting assault rifles piled into three Austrian army tanks and moved in. More than 100 police officers cordoned off the area.

Police named the suspect as 55-year-old Alois Huber, owner of a trucking firm.