Sindelfingen: Two dead after shots in the Mercedes factory

Shots were fired in a plant owned by the car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz in Sindelfingen, Baden-Württemberg. A 53-year-old is said to have shot, two employees of a subcontractor – both 44 years old – die.

The dead are employees of the Rhenus company, said a spokeswoman for the logistics service provider. Three permanent employees were involved in the incident. “I heard the shots, thought a pallet had fallen. Then someone ran up excitedly and said that shots had been fired. We all had to get out – and the company sent us home,” said an employee of the “Bild” newspaper . The newspaper quoted a colleague of the suspect as saying: “The guy is said to have fired his entire magazine. He hasn’t been with us for long, a year at most.”

The factory security overpowered the suspect, who then allowed himself to be arrested by the police without resistance. The public prosecutor’s office is initially assuming a single perpetrator and is still silent on further details of the crime. The magistrate issued arrest warrants for manslaughter in two cases in the afternoon, according to the prosecutor and the police. The 53-year-old is now in custody.

How did the gun get onto the factory premises?

After the first emergency calls at around 7.45 a.m., the police and rescue workers were on site in large numbers, but any help came too late for the two victims. According to their own statements, the investigators still have no knowledge of a motive for the arrested suspect. A police spokesman was initially unable to provide any information on whether the 53-year-old and the two victims knew each other. Interrogations were being conducted by the criminal police. The suspected murder weapon was secured, said the spokesman. He has no information as to what kind of weapon it is.

It is also unclear how the weapon got onto the factory premises. “I hope that they might do a bit more checks. If you can get weapons in there that easily, it can hit one of us,” said a Mercedes employee and reported a “queasy feeling” before the start of his shift. The employees in the affected hall were given psychological care, according to a police spokesman. There is no longer any danger for the employees. “Production continues as normal, except for the hall.”

There will be no work in the hall until Sunday

Mercedes-Benz said it was “deeply dismayed and shocked” by the crime. “Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and all colleagues on site,” said a company spokesman. After the shots were fired, the personnel in the affected hall left the factory premises in good order. Production in Hall 56 will remain stopped for the time being. “We have decided to stop work here until the end of the week,” said a spokesman for the carmaker. Specifically, there should be no work up to and including Sunday. It was not known how many employees were affected.

The hall itself has already been released by the authorities, said the spokesman. It is a company decision. On the rest of the factory premises, production should therefore continue as normal. About 35,000 people work in the Sindelfingen plant of Mercedes-Benz with a history of more than one hundred years. In addition to the E-Class, the S-Class and its electric counterpart EQS roll off the production line there.

In February last year, after a wild frenzy, the driver of a minibus on the factory premises was only stopped by an accident and a shot. The man had broken through a barrier to the factory premises with his car and stepped on the gas pedal. Police only stopped the driver with a shot in the leg. The then 61-year-old was then placed in a psychiatric facility.

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