German police investigate highway shootings
Stars and Stripes November 22, 2009
KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany — German police are investigating hundreds of incidents in the past 16 months in which gunshots were fired at vehicles on German autobahns.
Since July 2008, more than 250 vehicles have been shot at in the states of Hessen, Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, police said.
Nearly all the shots were fired at commercial trucks hauling new cars or were aimed at vehicles being towed, according to the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
However, on Nov. 10, a woman driving on the A-3 autobahn near Würzburg was hit in the neck by parts of a projectile, police said. The woman’s car crashed into a guardrail, but she survived. On the same day, police reported, three truck drivers on the same highway found bullet holes on vehicles loaded on their transport trucks.
According to the State Office of Criminal Investigation in Bavaria, 60 autobahn shootings were reported in Bavaria.
A spokesman for the office said the investigation is very complex.
“At this time we do not even know if the shooter fired the shots from a driving car or from places close to the autobahns,” Ludwig Waldinger said on Thursday. “Often, the car drivers drove through different states and just recognized the damage of the cars when they stopped here in Bavaria. Thus, the actual locations of the shootings are very hard to pinpoint.”