Suicidal gunman kills three policemen in Germany

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The Independent Online

Three police officers were killed and another seriously injured when a driver initially stopped for not wearing a seatbelt opened fire twice from his car in Dortmund, western Germany.

Three police officers were killed and another seriously injured when a driver initially stopped for not wearing a seatbelt opened fire twice from his car in Dortmund, western Germany.

The man was found hours later in a wooded area with a gunshot wound to his head, having apparently tried to commit suicide. Dortmund prosecutor Heiko Artkaemper said it seemed the man had been afraid of being caught driving without a license.

The drama began this morning, when two officers stopped a black BMW after noticing the driver was not buckled in.

Police said the man opened fire without warning, killing a 36-year-old officer with a gunshot wound to the head and seriously wounding his partner.

The man took off, but was stopped about a half hour later about 12 miles away by another police control point and again opened fire. Two officers were hit in the head and died a short time later.

While a statewide search was underway for the car, a passer-by noticed it parked in a wooded area and called police, who approached cautiously after an earlier search of his apartment turned up hand grenades. It was then they discovered he was still alive, although seriously injured.

Artkaemper said the 31-year-old suspect had has his driver's license revoked in April, but did not have a police record or a gun license. He had been identified through the car's license plate.

The three deaths raise to six the number of police officers killed while on duty in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia over the past 12 months.

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