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US charges gunman in Germany shootings

Federal prosecutors in New York on Tuesday filed murder charges against a Kosovan man who shot dead two members of the U.S. Air Force when he stormed a bus parked outside the Frankfurt airport in March.
/ Source: NBC News and news services

Federal prosecutors in New York on Tuesday filed murder charges against a Kosovan man who shot dead two members of the U.S. Air Force when he stormed a bus parked outside the Frankfurt airport in March.

Arid Uka, a 21-year-old Kosovan national, confessed to firing on the U.S. airmen at point-blank range with a 9mm pistol, German authorities said following the March 2 attack. He is currently detained in Germany.

"As Uka fired his gun, he repeated aloud an Arabic expression that means, 'God is great,' and continued shooting until his gun did not fire," Manhattan U.S. attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

Prosecutors charged Uka with murder and attempted murder of U.S. soldiers, along with firearms counts.

Uka, who was working on a short-term contract at the Frankfurt international postal center at the airport, often came across traveling U.S. servicemen, but only planned the attack after watching an online video, German officials said.

The attack was deemed to be a solo act, and Uka was never linked to any terrorist organization.

Court documents reviewed by NBC News say Uka saw a bus parked outside the airport, walked up to it, and asked if the bus was carrying Americans. He was told that it was. He then said they appeared to be soldiers. They're in the Air Force, he was told.

According to the court documents filed by prosecutors Uka then killed one of the Air Force members who was standing outside, then boarded the bus and killed a second and continued shooting, wounding the other two, until his gun jammed and he ran away.

One of the men who'd been on the bus chased Uka into the airport, screaming for the German police. They eventually surrounded and arrested Uka.

Uka remains in custody in Germany, but the United States is seeking to bring him to New York, NBC News reported.