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Man kills four shooting at random from stolen car

August 29, 1985

KARLSRUHE, West Germany (AP) _ A man stole a car and drove for three miles through a residential district Thursday, shooting people at random, police reported. They said he killed four and wounded five.

Markus Bitsch ″shot at everything that moved″ before police rammed his car from behind and captured him, said Binder Kuhn, a spokesman for the Karlsruhe police department.

Police said Bitsch, 32, was an unmarried lathe operator from the Karlsruhe suburb of Waldbronn.

″We have no knowledge of a motive. ... We are not that far. He just ran amok,″ Kuhn said.

Another police spokesman, Hans-Ulrich Thiel, said the dead were three women and a man. Four of the wounded were in critical condition, he said.

Police said Bitsch used a large-caliber revolver that was found on the floor of the stolen car.

Thiel said the shooting spree lasted about 45 minutes, and gave this account:

Bitsch rode into a gas station on a moped at about 5 p.m. and took a car at gunpoint. He wounded three people at the station, including the driver of the car.

He drove through the residential district, shooting at people, sometimes stopping the car to get out and fire.

He killed a woman on a bicycle first. His other three victims were pedestrians.

Police gave chase. Bitsch collided with a parked vehicle and the police car rammed him from behind.

Update hourly