German police shoot man brandishing weapons ahead of Euro match

Police say man approached passersby with sledgehammer and Molotov cocktail and did not comply with orders to put them down

Police forces arrive outside the Volksparkstadion prior to the Bundesliga second division football match Hamburger SV vs FC St Pauli in Hamburg, northern Germany, on May 3, 2024. (Axel Heimken / AFP)
Police forces arrive outside the Volksparkstadion prior to the Bundesliga second division football match Hamburger SV vs FC St Pauli in Hamburg, northern Germany, on May 3, 2024. (Axel Heimken / AFP)

HAMBURG, Germany — German police shot and injured a man after he threatened passersby and officers with a hammer and a Molotov cocktail ahead of a Euro 2024 match in Hamburg on Sunday, officials said.

“At around midday on Sunday (1000 GMT), a man threatened several passers-by and police officers with a sledgehammer and a Molotov cocktail,” police said in a statement.

Police then shot and injured the attacker, who “may have been having a psychiatric crisis,” the statement added.

Hamburg was thronging with soccer fans at the time ahead of the Euro 2024 match between Poland and the Netherlands.

However, police said there was no indication of a link to the Euro 2024 clash.

The man came out of a snack bar holding the weapons and approached passersby and police at the scene “in a threatening manner,” the police said.

Police forces stand guard outside the Volksparkstadion as soccer fans arrive prior to the Bundesliga second division football match Hamburger SV vs FC St Pauli in Hamburg, northern Germany, on May 3, 2024. (Axel Heimken / AFP)

When he did not comply with a request to put them down, police shot at him.

A police spokesman told AFP he was shot in the leg. He was treated by first responders at the scene and then taken to hospital.

The suspect has been identified as a 39-year-old German man, the police said, adding that his motive was not known.

Police said earlier on X, formerly Twitter, that the incident had triggered a “major operation” in the city’s St Pauli district.

It happened near the Reeperbahn station, more than a kilometer away from the city’s official fan zone.

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