• Germany edition
 
Court: Jeweller shot teen in 'self-defence'
Photo: DPA

Court: Jeweller shot teen in 'self-defence'

Published: 12 Sep 2012 16:39 GMT+02:00
Updated: 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
Pickpocket fools minister at anti-crime event
Ralf Jäger in front of a sign reading "eyes open and pockets closed" at the pickpocketing awareness event. Photo: DPA

Pickpocket fools minister at anti-crime event

North Rhine-Westphalia's interior minister Ralf Jäger was pickpocketed by a magician at a press conference he called on Monday to launch a campaign against pickpocketing. READ  

Berlin heart centre fiddled transplant list
Photo: DPA

Berlin heart centre fiddled transplant list

A probe into German transplant centres sparked by an organ donor scandal has revealed 14 cases of a doctor fiddling medical records at one of Germany’s leading heart centres. READ  

Lufthansa strike hits 20,000 passengers
A stranded group of travellers from Vancouver, Canada, sit and wait at Frankfurt Airport on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Lufthansa strike hits 20,000 passengers

UPDATE: The fourth pilots’ strike in recent weeks hit Germany’s biggest airport on Tuesday morning, with long-haul Lufthansa flights grounded at Frankfurt. Around 20,000 passengers have been affected. READ  

View from Germany
'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'
Photo: DPA/Police

'Criminals are at work in refugee homes'

A photo appearing to show a refugee being abused at a home for asylum seekers has caused outrage in Germany. The photo has been compared to those from Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib. Police are now investigating six cases of abuse at three different centres. READ  

Police suspect neo-Nazis of Reichstag attack
An investigator gives a sniffer dog the scent of an object found at the scene. Photo: DPA

Police suspect neo-Nazis of Reichstag attack

Investigators believe a Molotov cocktail thrown at the Reichstag building in Berlin early on Monday morning was the work of a far-right group, a police spokeswoman said on Tuesday. READ  

Unemployment rate stagnates in September
Photo: DPA

Unemployment rate stagnates in September

Unemployment in Germany stagnated in September, as clouds continue to build over Europe's biggest economy, official data showed on Tuesday. READ  

Germany struggles with Turkey Nato mission
A Bundeswehr Patriot missile in southern Turkey. Photo: DPA

Germany struggles with Turkey Nato mission

A shortage of trained troops caused more embarrassment for Germany's military on Tuesday when it emerged that more than one in four soldiers taking part in a Nato mission in Turkey are not getting their allotted time off between deployments. READ  

Spielberg to shoot spy thriller in Berlin
Spielberg (l), Amy Ryan (c) and Tom Hanks (r). Photo: DPA

Spielberg to shoot spy thriller in Berlin

Director Steven Spielberg is to shoot his next film in Germany, the Berlin-Brandenburg Film Board announced on Monday. The Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan director is turning his attention to a Cold War spy thriller. READ  

EU may drop Russian gas, Merkel warns
Chancellor Merkel with Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb in Berlin on Monday. Photo: DPA

EU may drop Russian gas, Merkel warns

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday that Germany and Europe may have to review their energy cooperation with Russia in the long-term if the Ukraine standoff does not abate. READ  

3,000 refugees arrive at Munich station
Munich's Hauptbahnhof. Photo: DPA

3,000 refugees arrive at Munich station

More than 3,000 refugees, including hundreds of children, have arrived at Munich’s central train station over the past few weeks, according to police. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Munich
Brit raped at Oktoberfest while going to toilet
Photo: DPA
National
Revealed: Germany's military feet of clay
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
Photo: Shutterstock
Society
Quiz: How good is your German?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Thousands take to Berlin's streets for marathon
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germans look to UK to liven up Parliament
Photo: DPA
Society
'Incest should be legal,' says ethics board
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten noises that sound very different in German
Photo: DPA
Society
QUIZ: Can you pass the German citizenship test?
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
How to become an au pair in Germany
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
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

3,154
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd