• 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
Far left activists attack immigration office
Photo: DPA

Far left activists attack immigration office

Far-left extremists attacked an immigration office in Leipzig early on Friday morning. It was the second targeted attack on an official building in the city in recent months. READ  

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo:DPA

Steinmeier: Armenia wasn't genocide

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier insisted on Friday that calling Armenian massacres genocide risks belittling the Holocaust, after President Joachim Gauck broke a taboo by using the word on Thursday. READ  

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career
Mick Schumacher on test day earlier in April. Photo: DPA

Schumacher Jr launches Formula race career

Michael Schumacher's 16-year-old son starts his Formula Four career this weekend, under the pressure of living up to the famous family name of the seven-time Formula One world champion. READ  

Property of the week
In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week
Photo: Mr Lodge

In Pictures: The Local's Property of the Week

A highly sought-after location, great connection to public transport, and a very stylish interior – Does that sound good to you? Then you’ll love this week’s property! READ  

Germany's most polluted cities
The sun rises behind a coal-burning power station in Lower Saxony. Photo: DPA

Germany's most polluted cities

The Federal Environment Ministry has named the most polluted places around the country, with Stuttgart claiming the undesirable title of Germany's most polluted city. READ  

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets
Edda Göring photographed in 1942. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Göring's daughter fails in bid to win father's assets

The Bavarian government rejected on Thursday an attempt by Hermann Göring's daughter to win back her father's assets, which the government seized in 1948. READ  

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow
Tugce Albayrak's death shocked Germany. Photo:DPA

Tugce accused admits to delivering fatal blow

When 22-year-old Tugce Albayrak was fatally beaten in a MacDonald's car park in November 2014, Germany was left in a state of shock. On the first day of her attacker's trial he admits to 'boxing her on the ear.' READ  

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US
Gerhard Schindler, head of the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), Germany's foreign intelligence agency. Photo: DPA

Prosecutors want info on spies' help to US

Federal prosecutors have asked for access on files from the Bundestag (German parliament) inquiry into mass surveillance, after news that German spies helped the US eavesdrop on European leaders and businesses. READ  

Greece bailout
Merkel and Tsipras tight-lipped on Brussels talks
Chancellor Merkel and Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras. Photo:DPA

Merkel and Tsipras tight-lipped on Brussels talks

Chancellor Merkel and Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras met in Brussles on Thursday in what the Chancellor described as “constructive” talks. READ  

Mediterranean migrant crisis
EU leaders triple rescue mission funds
EU leaders meet for migration summit in Brussels on April 23rd. Photo: DPA.

EU leaders triple rescue mission funds

Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged to send two navy ships for search and rescue efforts as EU leaders agreed on a plan in Brussels on Thursday to curb the soaring number of migrants dying as they seek a better life in Europe. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Pupils mourn lost classmates
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Gallery
Get inspired for International Women's Day with German heroes
Green party proposes first-ever cannabis legalization plan
Gallery
In pictures: Germany's seven most livable cities
National
Singapore canes Germans for train graffiti
Politics
Surprise! Germans love feeling like they run the EU
Politics
Anger over plan to show women what men earn
Travel
Munich tram fans bicker over new bell
Features
Kafka: puzzling translators 100 years on
Business & Money
France or Germany: Which country really is the best country to work in?
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

7,216
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd