Berlin (AP) – It was still pitch dark when shots rang out in Berlin-Kreuzberg in the early morning of Boxing Day. Four men were seriously injured, as the Berlin police and the public prosecutor announced on Saturday.
According to the current state of knowledge, residents alerted the police, who had heard the shots in Stresemannstrasse in the immediate vicinity of the SPD party headquarters shortly before four o’clock. The emergency services found three injured at the alleged crime scene. A fourth injured man jumped into the nearby Landwehr Canal, from which rescue workers pulled him. The public prosecutor’s office assumes a shooting in the organized crime scene.
Around the Möckernbrücke underground station, which is located directly on the Landwehr Canal, the police searched the undergrowth on the bank with flashlights. The injured men, aged 30 twice, 39 and 42 years each, came according to the information for treatment in hospitals, where they were hospitalized. The 1st homicide commission has started the further investigation.
The Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office announced on Twitter: “Because of the shooting in the organized crime milieu, we are investigating several suspects for attempted murder together with a murder commission from the Berlin police and are examining applications for arrest warrants.” A spokesman for the public prosecutor said it was about people who belonged to the group of the four injured. How many there were, he did not say.
Several dozen police officers, some of them heavily armed, were on duty around the scene before sunrise. A helicopter also flew over the capital in search of people involved. There were no arrests at first.
The crime scene is apparently in a gate entrance on Stresemannstrasse, as a photographer from the German press agency reported on site. The police cordoned off the area extensively, not least for securing evidence. According to a police spokesman, there were also police technicians on site.
At Stresemannstrasse 23 across from the SPD party headquarters there was a bullet hole in a door, as the dpa photographer reported, not far from another bullet hole in a glass door. The footpath in front of the alleged crime scene was cordoned off.
“The background is not yet known,” said a police spokesman in the morning. “We don’t know yet how many people were involved.” It is also not yet known whether several people fired shots or there was an exchange of fire. “The investigation is ongoing.”
In Berlin there are always disputes between individual groups or families. Most recently, after a 29-year-old was shot in Kreuzberg, around ten men attacked a ground floor apartment and a car.
In February, a shooting at the Berlin Tempodrom in Möckernstrasse, not far from the current crime scene, caused a sensation with one dead and four injured. The police were on duty with a large contingent, including homicide. An arrest warrant for manslaughter was issued against a 48-year-old man who is said to have shot a 42-year-old and was seriously injured in the confrontation.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 201226-99-814113 / 7