Hostage-taker is ‘no criminal,’ says policeman

A 52-year-old man who stormed a plastics factory on Thursday from which he had been fired, shooting and wounding three people and taking another two hostage, on Friday faced a prosecutor in the northern city of Komotini after surrendering to police.

Dimitrios Manikas, a divorced father of two who was sacked from the Helesi plastic garbage bin manufacturing plant in Komotini last August, released his two hostages early on Friday after more than 12 hours of talks with police negotiators.

Police said they had counted on the man, who claimed not to have eaten for several days, to give in due to fatigue. ?This was no criminal,? one officer said, noting that the man had claimed to be taking pills and alcohol due to depression.

The 52-year-old had walked into the factory at lunchtime on Thursday wielding a hunting rifle and demanded his job back. When the plant manager had refused, he shot him and a Bulgarian worker before also injuring a police officer and taking the two hostages. The former hostages were unharmed while the plant manager and worker were stable after undergoing surgery.

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