• Germany's news in English
 

Court: Jeweller shot teen in 'self-defence'

Published: 12 Sep 2012 16:39 GMT+02:00

The woman, who has not been named, heard in court on Wednesday that she was not guilty of manslaughter and would not be going to prison. Instead she would receive an eight month suspended sentence for denial of medical assistance to the fatally wounded 18-year-old and for breaching the country's weapons law.

The man entered the shop in Wetterau, Hesse, in July 2011 wearing a mask. He held an unloaded air gun and demanded money.

The woman went into a back room, where she had a hidden revolver, and shot him from a distance. The bullet hit the teen in the back of the head.

Prosecutors said they saw no case for self-defence, arguing that if it had been, she would have fired a warning shot or shot him in the leg.

But the judge at the Gießen regional court in Hesse said she could not have known that his gun was not loaded and that the woman was clearly affected by the incident.

“I was holding the weapon in my hand and suddenly it fired,” she told the judge, an incident that her defence called “purely accidental.” The court gave her a suspended sentence for failing to alert the emergency services quickly enough, and instead ringing her husband.

Initially the woman told the police that the robber's accomplice had shot him, which was found to be a lie.

DPA/The Local/jcw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:40 September 12, 2012 by stauderfan
fire a warning shot or shoot in the leg? are you nuts?? here in the states we shoot twice... once to bring the fool down and another to keep the fool down!! toy or not, he got what he deserved!
17:42 September 12, 2012 by lucksi
No surveilance video? Surely a jewelry store should have a system.

And I sooo do not agree with that ruling. If the woman already illegally had a gun, that makes her a worse criminal in my eyes than the robber.

And self defense my ass. She couldn't know that the robber had a fake gun, so why did she get hers and "accidentaly" shot him? Was her original plan to go out of the back room and shoot him when he was looking at her?
19:36 September 12, 2012 by pjnt
Shot in the leg? That is funny! Guns are meant to take a person down and stop them from getting back up. However, why didn't she just close the back room door, lock it and call the police?
20:06 September 12, 2012 by ATM
This store owner is in her store trying to make a living. This idiot comes in with a gun to takes something by threat or force. The storeowner reacts by getting a weapon to protect herself. This guy got what he deserved. There should have never been a court case. I would like to buy this woman a drink for taking care of business.
21:33 September 12, 2012 by marimay
'I was holding the weapon in my hand and it suddenly fired"

Oh, it's one of those guns with a mind of its own.
04:03 September 13, 2012 by DavidtheNorseman
A just decision.
05:21 September 13, 2012 by The-ex-pat
Several things come to mind. Shooting an armed person in the leg does not mean that they will be incapacitated or disarmed. She had no way of knowing that the robbers gun was and unloaded air gun. She has the right to defend herself under German law (German law, not what would be allowed in America). HOWEVER, all of this is negated by the fact that he held an ILLEGAL weapon for the very purpose of being used in the event of a robbery. I would lay money on the table that granny knew dam well what she had in her hand and how to use it. She is playing the frail old lady card saying the big nasty gun just went of in her hands.
08:12 September 13, 2012 by schneebeck
"Initially the woman told the police that the robber's accomplice had shot him, which was found to be a lie."

So this is probably a lie also:

¦quot;I was holding the weapon in my hand and suddenly it fired,¦quot;

Either way, she was right to defend herself.
08:34 September 13, 2012 by rfwilson
@ stauderfan'

fire a warning shot or shoot in the leg? are you nuts?? here in the states we shoot twice... once to bring the fool down and another to keep the fool down!! toy or not, he got what he deserved!

Yes, and "here in the states", you have actually believe this sort of juvenile rubbish, you have FAR too many weapons, and as someone once said, a space-age nation with a frontier mentality.
08:36 September 13, 2012 by bhess
@lucksi

You have to look at these kind of incidents also as to who was the bigger threat? Isn't an 18yr old male robber with a gun a big threat to a 67 yr old woman? Isn't it reasonable that she was in fear for her life? Are 67 yr old women not allowed to defend themselves? Unless you have been in her shoes you cannot know the fear she was in. Also her statement about that the gun just fired is consistent with happens to even train law enforcement officers. Under the threat to life you are under a great deal of stress and in the moment it can kind effect memory. Officers many times don't realize how many times they fired in those events.

Also nothing in the article speaks to her familiarity of shooting. A revolver is a fairly simple weapon to operate. I'd be suprised if she had fired it more than once.
09:10 September 13, 2012 by lucksi
@bhess: If she was able to retreat to get her gun, then the self defense pretty much goes out the window.

She, or rather her store, was just getting robbed. If I can get away from the robbers or just lose some wares which the insurance pays for, I sure as hell would not risk my life trying to take down a robber.

And the first time I fired a rifle, for me that thing also went of suddenly.

"Officers many times don't realize how many times they fired in those events"

Uhum, yes, US cops. One of them opens fire, they all shoot until the guns are empty. In a single "justified" shooting by cops on someone armed with merly a knife, US cops use up more bullets than all cops in the whole of Germany combined. And I wish I would be making this up.
10:47 September 13, 2012 by jg.
"If the woman already illegally had a gun, that makes her a worse criminal in my eyes than the robber."

Really? So, someone going about their business, trying to earn a living legally but who happens to own a firearm without the relevant permit is a worse criminal than someone who wears a mask to rob people at gunpoint. I don't think so - and neither do the courts. Armed robbery is clearly in a different league to owning a gun without a permit.
Today's headlines
German women have World Cup in their sights
Germany are among the favourites. Photo: DPA archive

German women have World Cup in their sights

After getting their hands on the world cup in 2003 and 2007, the German women’s national team are trying to make it three out of the last four this summer in Canada. READ  

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'
"I don't need to justify it because it's in the Bible". Photo: DPA

Munich headteacher: 'Atheists are stupid'

A head teacher at a state school in Munich is attempting to introduce a strict Christian regime by hanging crosses in the classroom and holding daily prayers. He's within the law, but parents and pupils are beginning to resist. READ  

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic
Stock image of baby ducks running. Photo: DPA.

Baby ducks shut down Autobahn traffic

Police officers and a fire fighter crane were called in to rescue five orphaned baby ducks on Friday, stopping autobahn traffic briefly to escort them to safety. READ  

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan
The region of Kunduz in northern Afghanistan. Photo: DPA

Taliban release German hostage in Afghanistan

An employee of the German International Development Agency (GIZ) has been released from captivity in northern Afghanistan after being taken prisoner by the Taliban six weeks ago. READ  

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet
Chancellor Merkel and Prime Minister Cameron arrive at the Federal Chancellery in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Cameron and Merkel sing from same hymn sheet

Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron presented a newly united front at a Berlin press conference on Friday, after their first meeting where the UK premier set out his demands for reform of the European Union. READ  

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’
Photo: DPA

German industry: Brexit would be ‘disastrous’

The German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK) have told the BBC that if the UK were to leave the EU it would be disastrous for both countries. READ  

At last, Germany has a new Top Model
Vanessa is over the moon. Photo:DPA

At last, Germany has a new Top Model

Everyone can breath easily again. Despite a delay of two weeks due to a bomb threat, Heidi Klum has finally been able to choose Germany’s next top model - a 19-year-old from her own home town. READ  

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football
Steinmeier had harsh words for FIFA. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: corruption poisons football

Foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Thursday that if world football can't clear up "poisonous" corruption, state bodies need to step in, amid a graft scandal engulfing governing body FIFA. READ  

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden
G7 finance ministers in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Greece eclipses G7 meeting in Dresden

Debt-wracked Greece's battle to hammer out a deal with its creditors dominated a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations in Dresden on Thursday, with officials insisting much work still lay ahead. READ  

EU investigates Germany over airport security
Photo: DPA

EU investigates Germany over airport security

The European Commission said on Thursday that it had referred Germany to the EU Court of Justice for failing to regularly check up on its airport security measures at some airports. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Fassbinder's blaze of glory
Rhineland
Defusing Cologne's giant WW2 bomb
Travel
1,000 years of Leipzig
National
Cops have nothing to go on after ministry toilet theft
Sport
The hidden history of FC Bayern Munich
Technology
In future, we may all be scraping drones off windshields
National
The 65-year-old who gave birth to quadruplets
Travel
Why the train strike is bad for passengers and workers
National
Meet Germany's Eurovision hope
Business & Money
Is 2015 a new moment for jobsharing?
Features
How the LGBT rights movement was born in Germany
National
Why you don't make bomb jokes at the airport
National
Why Germany needs a little less tipple
National
Who Germans and Americans trust... and don't
Politics
What the UK election means for Germany
National
Why Germany is great for mums
Features
The Germans with GI dads
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

6,699
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd