A security guard was killed in a refugee shelter in Potsdam. After an hours-long manhunt, the police announced that the suspect was arrested.

A security guard was killed in a violent confrontation on the grounds of a refugee shelter near the Sanssouci Palace Park in Potsdam. The police arrested the wanted suspect in the vicinity of Berlin Zoo station. Potsdam’s mayor reacted with dismay to the violent act that took place in the morning in an emergency shelter in the city. On Thursday, the investigating authorities remained tight-lipped about the suspect and the circumstances of the violent crime. According to the police, the security guard who was killed was a 33-year-old of Syrian nationality.

A large police force moved into the western district of the state capital in the morning. The area around the refugee shelter, where around 30 people live, was cordoned off. The Berlin police then also searched for the suspect, whose name the authorities already knew, as they announced before the arrest.

The police later wrote on Platform X that a plainclothes officer had recognized the suspect at Alexanderplatz. Alerted federal police forces were finally able to arrest him at the Zoological Garden.

The public prosecutor’s office applied for an arrest warrant for manslaughter. The suspect is due to appear before an investigating judge on Friday. The homicide squad wanted to question the man first.

The violent act took place shortly after 4 a.m. on the grounds of the shared accommodation for asylum seekers on Geschwister-Scholl-Straße. The 33-year-old security guard was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries and died there. The building in the west of the state capital used to house a hotel called “Schlossgarten”. The police also searched for the perpetrator in the neighboring Sanssouci Park.

Mayor Mike Schubert (SPD) reacted with shock and said: “Today is a sad day for our city. A person who protected people seeking protection on behalf of our city has become the victim of a violent crime.” An emergency sea care service is taking care of the residents of the accommodation and the colleagues of the killed security guard, the city said. It has rented the building to accommodate refugees since 2022.

The former hotel currently houses 30 people in 17 rooms, mostly families, it was said. It is an emergency shelter run by the city. The security guards are also commissioned by the city.

The police have been searching for traces and clues to the perpetrator since Thursday morning. Officers could be seen combing through a garden and looking behind trees and bushes. A sniffer dog was also on the move. Other officers in white protective suits were deployed behind red and white barrier tape.

A fire broke out in the shared accommodation in Potsdam-West at the end of February. According to the police, the building was evacuated at that time.