United Kingdom

Helicopters in huge manhunt in Germany for camouflage-wearing crossbow maniac

Special forces and helicopters are being used huge manhunt for a camouflage-wearing crossbow maniac who disarmed four officers at gunpoint in Germany.

About 100 officers were combing Germany's Black Forest with the help of special forces, helicopters and sniffer dogs as the search entered its second day.

Police in Oppenau, in south-western Germany, warned local residents to stay at home and not pick up any hitchhikers. 

Authorities took the unusual step of naming the suspect as Yves Etienne Rausch, 31, warning that he is carrying several firearms and known to be violent.  

German authorities have deployed hundreds of police in the hunt for a 31-year-old man who disarmed four officers at gunpoint, officials said Monday

Police are combing through rough forested terrain with the support of sniffer dogs and helicopters (pictured) near the southwestern city of Offenburg

Police said they were informed on Sunday morning that a suspicious man was hanging around a hut in the forest.

Four officers sent to the scene said the suspect cooperated at first when approached.

But then he 'suddenly and completely unexpectedly' threatened them with a firearm, leaving them 'no time to react to the dangerous situation,' police said. 

The man made the officers hand over their weapons before running away, 'presumably' taking their firearms with him.

Nobody was injured in the incident close to Germany's border with France. 

The man is understood to have lived above a local guest house for three years before being evicted for not paying his rent about a year ago, Bild reported.

He had odd jobs as a rail worker and a golf course caretaker, a former neighbour was cited as saying, describing him as 'not an easy person'.

Various weapons and petrol canisters were found in his apartment after he was evicted, as well as a small shooting range in the attic, reports suggest.

He is then understood to have lived in his car by the local swimming pool for a while before moving into the hut at the edge of the forest.

He spent time in prison for shooting his girlfriend with a bow and arrow, local media reports.

A police spokesman was cited as saying the man was in a state of 'psychiatric emergency' and should not be approached.

The police weapons were P2000 semi-automatic pistols that can hold up to 16 bullets each, according to Bild, meaning the man could have an extra 64 shots at his disposal.

Rausch is described as being around 5-foot, 7-inches tall, bald, with a goatee beard and wearing camouflage clothing and possibly glasses. 

Authorities took the unusual step of naming the suspect as Yves Etienne Rausch, 31, warning that he is carrying several firearms and known to be violent. Pictured: Police vehicles involved in the search

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