The people in the tranquil village of Langweid were stunned the day after the man shot deadly at three neighbors. The suspect, Gerhard B., should come before an investigating judge on Saturday. The German is said to have killed the two women and a man in an apartment building where they all lived together. Then he is said to have injured two other people in another house.
An arrest warrant was issued against the man on Saturday evening on suspicion of three counts of murder and attempted murder in two cases, and he is now in custody.
The possible motive: a dispute among neighbors. As the “Bayerischer Rundfunk” reports, the police had to move to the house on Friday afternoon, also because of a dispute. When the police arrived, the 64-year-old was not at home. According to the “Augsburger Allgemeine”, the dispute has been smoldering since 2018.
64-year-old suspect was a marksman and legally owned multiple guns
The suspect was a sports shooter, according to police. He therefore owned several different weapons and a corresponding weapon license. “BR24” had initially reported about it. Police officers found several weapons in his car and in his apartment after the crime on Friday evening. Police spokesman Markus Trieb says it is still being clarified whether the 64-year-old has been reported to the police.
Numerous police and emergency services were deployed in the residential area in Langweid am Lech near Augsburg until the early hours of the morning. They cordoned off the crime scene with tape, secured evidence and questioned witnesses.
On Saturday morning you can see nothing more of the cruel act
On Saturday morning there is nothing more to see of the crime: no warning tape, no police cars, only a few people are on the road in the town of Swabia, which has a population of 8,900. A local resident reports how she was woken up by the noise of the helicopters in the night and observed the forensics team in the garden. She seems incredulous and appalled that something like this could happen here.
“It’s a very inconspicuous, quiet suburb – and also a safe place,” said police spokesman Trieb. The volunteer fire brigade had actually invited to a party on Saturday. But now nobody feels like celebrating. “Due to yesterday’s incidents in Langweid, we have made the decision to cancel today’s fire extinguishing party,” says the website.
Langweid: Fatalities are 49, 52 and 72
Langweid is a place with many single-family houses and terraced houses. There are rather few apartment buildings like the ones on Schubertstrasse.
According to the police investigations so far, the 64-year-old shot a 49-year-old and her 52-year-old husband in the hallway of a house on Friday evening. He killed a 72-year-old with a shot through the apartment door. He then seriously injured a 32-year-old woman and a 44-year-old man in a house on Hochvogelstrasse, also with a shot through the apartment door.
Two injured in hospital but not seriously injured
The two victims were taken to the hospital, but the police said they were not life-threatening. There are several hundred meters between the first crime scene and the second. So the second victims were not immediate neighbors. According to current knowledge, the 44-year-old is related to one of the fatalities from Schubertstrasse.
The suspect then fled in his car. Shortly thereafter, the police were able to locate and arrest him. According to the police, he offered no resistance. It was initially unclear why the dispute between the neighbors escalated in such a way. “The background to the crime is currently the subject of investigations,” says Trieb.
New calls to ban lethal sporting weapons
The initiative “No murder weapons as sporting weapons” again called for a ban on deadly sporting weapons in view of the violent act. “The risk of lethal sports weapons is unmanageable,” said the initiative’s spokesman, Roman Grafe. The German weapons law is too lax. The same weapons as those used in the attacks in Erfurt (2002), Winnenden (2009), Hanau (2020) and Hamburg (2023) can basically be easily acquired by any marksman.
Bavaria’s Minister of the Interior, Joachim Herrmann, rejected the demand: “A further tightening of gun laws is currently not up for debate,” he said. First of all, it is important to clarify the background to the crime and “to determine why the perpetrator freaked out in such a way”. Germany already has one of the strictest gun laws in Europe. “The vast majority of crimes involving the use of firearms are not committed with legal but with illegal weapons anyway,” emphasized Herrmann.