In Karlsruhe, a large-scale police operation is underway because of a hostage-taking. According to the police, the perpetrator or perpetrators have several hostages in their power. According to current knowledge, all are physically unharmed. Even in the evening it was still unclear whether it was one or more perpetrators. The police have contact with the alleged hostage-taker or hostage-takers, said the spokesman.
The crime scene is in the middle of downtown Karlsruhe on one of the main streets. The forces cordoned off the area over a wide area. Numerous police and emergency services vehicles were seen on the street.
The first emergency calls came in around 4:30 p.m. According to the current status, there is no danger to the population. Nevertheless, the police called on people to avoid the area of operation and to follow the instructions of the emergency services. A school for accommodation was opened for residents. The police said that anyone who could not go home at the moment because of the blocking measures had the opportunity to go to the Nebeniusschule.
Because of the hostage-taking, the Karlsruhe Trade Fair Center canceled two evening events at short notice. An event with dog trainer Martin Rütter and a master concert were affected, said a spokeswoman for the fair. She assumes that the event in the Black Forest Hall is sold out, it holds several thousand people. The concert was to take place in the nearby concert hall. The spokeswoman assumed that around 1000 tickets would be sold. There is currently no way for visitors anyway: Both venues are part of the festival site, which is close to the site that the police have cordoned off over a large area.
The prominent dog trainer Rütter called on his fans not to come to an event planned for the evening but canceled. "The event has just been canceled because an armed hostage-taking is taking place in a pharmacy 100 meters as the crow flies," said Rütter in a video published on his Instagram channel. "Please don't come to the hall, it's cordoned off over a large area here, and please don't come close either."