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Crime

Deadly confrontation outside Frankfurt court leaves two men dead

Two men awaiting a court appearance in Frankfurt have died in an apparent "revenge attack." Police have arrested the assailant, believed to have been related to a man the two victims had been accused of killing in 2007.

'Revenge attack' in Frankfurt

A courthouse in Germany's western city of Frankfurt became the scene of a shooting and police chase on Friday morning after a 47-year-old man opened fire on two men awaiting a court appearance.

"We are deeply shocked," the Hesse state minister of justice, Eva Kühne-Hörmann told journalists. Everything would be done to "get to the bottom of the incident."

According to the state prosecutor, the two victims on Friday were - 45- and 50-years old, respectively - scheduled to attend an appeal hearing that revolved around the 2007 stabbing of a car dealer. Both of the accused had been acquitted of murder charges the following year because the judge could not rule out self-defense. The hearing on Friday marked the reopening of the case against the accused following an appeal filed by prosecutors.

At roughly 8:45 a.m. local time (0745 UTC), the alleged assailant - who was believed to be the brother of the 2007 stabbing victim - approached the two men while they were standing near the courthouse buildings, according to police. He then opened fire on them, fatally wounding the 45-year-old and then chasing the second man who had run through the nearest entrance. The attacker fired another shot and then stabbed him. The second victim, 50, later died in the hospital.

The assailant fled the scene following the attack. Police caught him moments later in Konstablerwache, a busy area of Frankfurt's downtown. No passersby were injured in the chase.

kms/bk (AFP, dpa)

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