Drive-by shootings in two towns in southern Germany have left two people dead, sparking a huge sense of panic in the area. Police said in a statement on Friday that a man shot and killed an 82-year-old woman about noon local time in Tiefenthal, near Ansbach, in the state of Bavaria. The suspect then fatally shot a man riding a bicycle in the nearby town of Rammersdorf, the police statement said, adding that both of the victims were apparently targeted randomly and died at the scene.
The shooter then fired at a pedestrian and the driver of another vehicle, although police said they were not harmed. A later report by the n-tv television quoted police spokeswoman Simone Wiesenberg as saying that the suspect has been apprehended. A massive hunt had been launched in the entire Bavaria region for shooter, who is reported to be just 18 years old. No further details have been reported about the suspect. However, a local newspaper, in another account of the story, said workers at a gas station in Bad Windsheim, about 35 kilometers (20 miles) from the scene of the shootings, managed to subdue the man as he arrived in the area and threatened them with his gun. The reports said the workers tied the suspect up with cable ties and called the police.
Police cordoned off the service station, checking the suspect’s vehicle for any potential explosives. Authorities tried to calm down the people in the region who were quite shocked with the incident. The mayor of Leutershausen, Siegfried Hess, said he was “stunned” by the incident. “In a place with 5,500 inhabitants where we have always had a quiet life, we only know this kind of situation from television,” he told DPA. Police spokesman Bert Rauenbush told TV news channel N24, “At the moment we have no evidence of accomplices, but of course we will keep our eyes open.” The motives behind the shooting are also unclear as of yet, as is whether it was a terrorist attack.