Dhe assassin from Halle, Stephan Balliet, threatened when he was taking hostages in Burg prison on Monday evening with an object that he had previously made out of rolled-up paper, stickers from food packaging, parts of a pencil and a bendable metal part. This was reported by representatives of the authorities in the Magdeburg state parliament on Wednesday evening in a special session of the legal committee.
According to the investigators, it is still unclear whether it was a pure dummy or whether the crime device could make popping noises or even fire a shot. An internal police report shortly after the crime spoke of a “weapon-like object” and a “shot” by Balliet at a fence. In any case, the two JVA employees whom the right-wing extremist took hostage feared for their lives.
The 30-year-old Balliet had initially taken the guard hostage, who was supposed to lock him in his cell. The right-wing extremist forced the guard to open doors towards the exit. Balliet later traded the first hostage for another guard. He was then able to use Balliet’s inattention to jerkily free himself. This allowed access to other JVA officials who followed Balliet a few meters away. The head of the Burg prison, Ulrike Hagemann, praised the behavior of the prison staff in the state parliament, who had previously trained such a scenario. Balliet also had craft scissors, a knife and a can opener with him when the hostages were taken, which were later found during a search.
Balliet is serving a life sentence followed by preventive detention in the modern prison near Magdeburg for murdering two people with a home-made firearm on October 9, 2019. The right-wing extremist actually wanted to massacre the Halle synagogue, but couldn’t get into the building. He then chose a passer-by and a guest in a kebab shop as victims.
The investigation into the hostage taking took over on Wednesday the Saxony-Anhalt public prosecutor’s office.