Two US servicemen arrested in Germany after man, 28, is stabbed to death at carnival near Spangdahlem air base

Two US servicemen arrested in Germany after man, 28, is stabbed to death at carnival near Spangdahlem air base

  • The arrested men, aged 25 and 26, were visiting the annual Säubrenner fair when they got involved in a scuffle 
  • The airbase is home to 5,000 personnel and the USAF 52nd Fighter Wing
  • German police have handed both men to US Air Force investigators 

Two US servicemen have been arrested in Germany after a 28-year-old man was stabbed to death at a carnival in the western town of Wittlich.

Both men, aged 25 and 26, are stationed at the nearby Spangdahlem air base and became involved in a scuffle with a security manager in the early hours of Saturday morning, German police reported.

The victim, named as ‘Michael O’, was repeatedly stabbed and police are investigating whether a knife found nearby in the town’s river Lieser is connecter with the killing.

The base is home to around 5,000 service personnel and support staff, including the USAF 52nd Fighter Wing, nicknamed ‘The Saber Nation’.

Police said a fight broke out at around 2.40am and ‘four people, two men and two women, ran away from the scene of the crime’.

The men are among 5,000 personnel stationed at the US Spangdahlem air base 

The two servicemen were quickly arrested but did not speak to police, according to chief public prosecutor Manfred Stemper.

‘One of the men said he couldn’t remember. The motive for the alleged act was completely unclear,’ he told reporters.

The group were visiting the town’s traditional Säubrenner fair which attracts around 100,000 people each year,’ police said.

Base commander Colonel Kevin Crofton said the attack was an ‘intolerable and avoidable tragedy in our peaceful community’, and thanked the people of Wittlich for their ‘partnership and patience while the investigation unfolds’.

But the killing has shocked the small town which is a popular destination for off-duty officers.

‘We’ve never experienced anything like this here,’ said Wittlich mayor Joachim Rodenkirch.

‘This act happened right on our doorstep, you can only begin to measure the pain in the family,’

In a speech in the town square he called for calm and said was ‘horrified and terribly sad that a young man died in such a brutal way’.

German police have handed to the two men over to US authorities, who will take charge of the case ‘in accordance with NATO statutes,’ a spokesman said.

The Air Force Office of Special Investigations has taken over the investigation and has been approached for comment.