In Boxberg-Bobstadt, a police operation due to illegal possession of weapons escalated on Wednesday morning. After shots and fires, alleged “Reich citizens” were arrested.
The police operation with the participation of a special task force (SEK) in Boxberg-Bobstadt (Main-Tauber district) began around 6 a.m. on Wednesday morning. A weapon should be confiscated, according to Hans Becker, Chief of Police at the Heilbronn Presidium. A 55-year-old man, probably the father of the family living there, resisted the search.
Police confirmed several shots were fired. One officer sustained a gunshot wound to the leg and was taken to hospital, but the injuries were not life-threatening, officials said.
Fire and several explosions – Defusers secured the house
The property caught fire a little later. Since a risk to the emergency services and residents due to the fire, possibly due to ammunition in the house and loose dogs, could not be ruled out, extinguishing work was initially not possible. There were several loud explosions.
Negotiation by emergency call
According to the police, the man made an emergency call from the building a little later, whereupon the emergency services negotiated with him. Finally, the man left the building with another person. All seven people living at the site have been arrested, police told SWR.
The house has since been secured by fusers. There was a suspicion that ammunition or something similar was stored there. SWR reporters on site reported isolated explosions hours later. A fire later broke out again.
Local drivers were asked to drive around the area around Bobstadt, the police asked. Residents should keep their doors and windows closed, it said. Helicopters were in the air over Boxberg-Bobstadt. In the late afternoon, many police officers, special forces and rescue services were on site.
Arrested man is apparently a “Reich citizen”
Since a politically motivated background cannot be ruled out, the Baden-Württemberg State Criminal Police Office and the Heilbronn Police Headquarters are investigating. In the meantime, Chief of Police Hans Becker from the Heilbronn Presidium has confirmed that there are concrete indications from the population that the arrested man can be attributed to the so-called Reich Citizens Scene.
In addition, the man was apparently already known to the police for other crimes. He owned a gun, but his gun license was confiscated. Because he did not want to hand over his weapon, the police operation took place on Wednesday morning.
The mayor of Bobstadt, Alwin Deissler, told SWR that the family with two children had withdrawn more and more, probably because they kept large dogs. In connection with weapons, however, Deissler had never known anything about the said persons.
Police union sees increasing danger in “Reich citizens”
The German Police Union (DPolG) sees the so-called Reich citizens as an “increasing threat to the rule of law and internal security,” it said in a press release on Wednesday afternoon. The union also links this assessment directly to the large-scale operation in Boxberg-Bobstadt – where one is currently looking with “great concern”.
The fact that the SEK was involved in Bobstadt, the report goes on to say, is a sign that the police, authorities and judiciary had already assumed that there was a greater risk. One can only hope that everything turns out well and that all the forces deployed come home healthy from the mission. Unfortunately, one always has to reckon with armed violence in such operations.
Interior Minister Strobl: “No weapons in the hands of extremists”
Baden-Württemberg’s Minister of the Interior Thomas Strobl (CDU) said about the police operation in Boxberg-Bobstadt that “this brutal firearms attack” shows how important “very consistent action against any extremists, including the Reich citizens” is when it comes to firearms .
“No weapons in the hands of extremists” has been in force in Baden-Württemberg for five years – this is being consistently enforced, also and especially against so-called Reich citizens and self-governors, according to Strobl.
Strobl announced in a statement that it was now a question of bringing the exact background to light through official investigations.
Another “Reichsbürger” attack in February
Also in Efringen-Kirchen (Lörrach district) there was a violent incident with a radicalized “Reich citizen”. A 61-year-old ran over a police officer with his car in February and seriously injured him. The victim is still unable to work today, the accused remains silent on the allegations.