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CRIME

State: school shooting killer mother must pay

German lawyers have said they will demand millions of euros in damages from the mother of a boy who killed himself and 14 people and injured a further 14 in a school shooting in 2009, for what they say was a breach of duty on her part.

State: school shooting killer mother must pay

The mother of Tim Kretschmer, the then 17-year-old boy who opened fire at his school in Winnenden in Baden-Württemberg in March 2009, will be asked to pay €9.3 million in damages for her role in the tragedy, the Stuttgarter Zeitung said over the weekend.

Four years after the incident, authorities are now claiming that the killer’s mother shared responsibility for the murders along with his father, who was sentenced in 2011 to 15 counts of manslaughter through culpable negligence after he was found to have left a weapon in an unlocked cupboard in the couple’s bedroom.

The gun was her shared responsibility, say claimants, and she committed a breach of duty because she knew her son had psychological problems at the time of the shooting.

The claim comes from local authorities in Winnenden, which together with the regional state accident insurance company paid out for restoring and reopening the Albertville-Realschule school following the incident, as well as for renting a replacement building in the interim and seeing to psychological treatment for survivors.

The mother’s lawyer Erik Silcher told the paper there is no proof of breach of duty, in that she could not have been expected to have kept an eye on her then 17-year-old boy day and night. His client will fight the compensation demands, added Silcher.

Meanwhile, wrote the paper, the killer’s parents, who now live under police protection programme, are hoping to sue the clinic in Weinsberg which had been treating their son Tim at the time of the shooting for €8.8 million – money they say will go straight to the relatives of the dead and injured.

DPA/The Local/jlb

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CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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