During a police operation in downtown Dortmund, a 52-year-old homeless man died after being shot by an officer. According to initial witness statements and review of body camera recordings, he was said to have been armed with an approximately 2.5 meter long iron bar from the scaffolding on Wednesday evening. Before the emergency services arrived, he used it to hit another homeless person, the Recklinghausen police headquarters reported on Thursday. After the officers showed up, he hit the door of the Reinoldi Church several times with the iron bar.

“He did not comply with repeated requests from police officers to put the iron bar away,” the police report states. “For this reason, police officers used a Taser on several occasions.” However, after the stun gun had “hardly any effect,” a police officer finally fired a shot from his service weapon.

The 52-year-old died from his serious injuries in hospital. An autopsy was scheduled for Thursday. The investigations by the Recklinghausen police headquarters are ongoing. Witnesses should come forward there. A link through which witness videos can be uploaded was also activated: “We ask that you do not share videos showing the operation on social media.”

This is the second time in recent memory that an operation by the Dortmund police has ended fatally. Officials had already shot the 16-year-old Mouhamed D. in August 2022. The refugee from Senegal had threatened to kill himself with a knife in a youth facility. Five police officers are currently being tried at the Dortmund regional court.