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11 May, 2023 12:08

Two killed in Mercedes-Benz plant shooting

A 53-year-old man has been detained following the incident 10 miles outside Stuttgart
Two killed in Mercedes-Benz plant shooting

A 53-year-old suspect has been detained following the fatal shooting of two people at a Mercedes-Benz factory near Stuttgart in southwestern Germany on Thursday, according to local authorities.

The carmaker confirmed in a statement on Thursday that two people had died following the early morning incident at its plant in Sindelfingen – around 10 miles (17km) outside of Stuttgart – which occurred at approximately 7.45am local time. The statement, which was confirmed by the Stuttgart prosecutor, revised earlier reports which stated that one person had died and another was injured.

“One person is in police custody,” the company said in a statement after the shooting on Thursday. “The [deceased] persons are employees of an external service provider.” 

The prosecutor’s office has said it is working on the assumption that a single gunman was responsible for the shooting, and that no other individuals were involved. The suspect was identified as a 53-year-old man.

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by the tragic news from Sindelfingen this morning,” Mercedes-Benz added on social media. “Our thoughts are with the victims, their families and all colleagues on site.” Around 35,000 people are employed at the plant where Mercedes-Benz produces its range of popular S-Class luxury sedans.

The fatal shooting is the latest in a series of such incidents to take place in Germany in recent years, and comes amid a debate over whether Berlin should tighten its already strict gun laws.

In March, six people were shot dead at a Jehovah’s Witness congregation in Hamburg. In February 2020, a gunman with a right-wing extremist background shot and killed nine people near Frankfurt, in an incident described as ‘racially-motivated.’ He also shot his mother and himself.

In December Germany said it was to impose stricter gun laws after discovering a suspected plot by a far-right group to violently overthrow the government. Authorities must “exert maximum pressure” to remove firearms from suspected criminals, the EU country’s Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper last year, adding that Germany will “shortly further tighten gun laws.”