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Manhunt in Germany for man who disarmed 4 police officers

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Police officers stay outside a wooded area on a road near Oppenau, Germany, Monday, July 13, 2020. Authorities in Germany say they have deployed hundreds of police in the hunt for a 31-year-old man who disarmed four officers at gunpoint on Sunday, July 12, 2020. (Sven Kohls/dpa via AP)

BERLIN (AP) — Hundreds of German police were involved in a manhunt Monday for a 31-year-old man in camouflage clothing who disarmed four officers at gunpoint a day earlier and then fled into the forest with a pistol, knife and a bow and arrow.

Authorities warned residents in the southwestern town of Oppenau to stay indoors while officers, supported by tactical teams, sniffer dogs and helicopters, combed the the surrounding rough terrain.

In an unusual step, authorities publicly identified the suspect by name as Yves Etienne Rausch, saying he was known to police for previous firearms offenses, was likely carrying several guns and could be violent.

Germany’s air traffic control agency declared a no-fly zone of three nautical miles (3.5 miles) in the Black Forest region around Oppenau.

Police were alerted early Sunday by a member of the public about a suspicious person carrying a bow and arrow. Officers thereupon conducted an ID check on Rausch, who was described as being 170 centimeters (around 5 feet, 7 inches) tall, bald, with a goatee beard and needing glasses.

Officials said the suspect initially cooperated but then suddenly pulled a gun on the officers, threatening them and forcing them to hand over their service weapons. Nobody was injured in the incident, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) from Germany’s border with France.

Rausch is believed to have been living in the forest for weeks, according to the regional police office in Offenburg.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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