74-year-old German shoots mayor dead, kills self

Berlin, April 27 (IANS) A 74-year-old gunman shot the mayor of a German county dead before killing himself, police said.

The shooting took place Friday in Hamelin-Pyrmont county in Lower Saxony, Xinhua reported.

Police confirmed that county mayor Ruediger Butte was shot dead by the gunman who then turned the firearm on himself. There was no direct witness.

Media report said county spokeswoman Sandra Lummitsch heard the shots in a nearby office. She alerted the police and then locked herself in the office with her colleagues.

Police said the shooting was pre-planned, as the offender had made an attempt for days to get an appointment with the mayor.

Police said there was a physical confrontation between the gunman and the mayor before the shooting.

The revolver that the gunman used was illegally possessed, police said.

Ruediger Butte, 63, directed the State Criminal Investigation Office of Lower Saxony from 2001 to 2005, and became the mayor of Hamelin-Pyrmont county in 2005.

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