Armed Police Called to German Refugee Shelter Over Toy Gun Sighting

A policewoman stands in front of a hospital following a shooting on July 26, 2016 in south-western Berlin. A patient shot and killed a doctor before turning the gun on himself at a Berlin hospital, police said, adding there was no sign the incident was a terrorist attack. / AFP …
TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images

BERLIN (AP) – Berlin police say they deployed a tactical response unit to a refugee shelter after spotting a man with an automatic rifle – only to find it was a replica.

Police spokeswoman Patricia Braemer said Thursday that an off-duty officer walking past the building saw the man through a window posing for photos with the “dangerous looking” weapon and alerted colleagues.

About 30 officers, including a specialist firearms team, stormed the man´s room Wednesday and discovered two men with an airsoft rifle and appropriate ammunition.

Braemer said the rifle was “almost impossible to discern” from a real firearm and lacked a marking required by law. The men, 27 and 29, are being investigated on suspicion of breaking firearms laws.

It is illegal in Germany to display replica firearms in public view.

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