• 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
'Hooligan' jailed for Cologne mass rampage
A "HoGeSa" demonstrator defies police water cannon during riots in Cologne. Photo: DPA

'Hooligan' jailed for Cologne mass rampage

A Cologne judge sentenced a 24-year-old man to three years in prison after convicting him of violent acts during a “Hooligans against Salafists” (HoGeSa) demonstration in October 2014. READ  

Spy chief: neo-Nazi party inciting refugee attacks
The Third Way marching on May 1st in Thuringia. Photo: DPA

Spy chief: neo-Nazi party inciting refugee attacks

Germany's domestic intelligence chief has claimed that a recently formed neo-Nazi party is inciting violence against refugee homes and says he fears that human casualties will soon follow. READ  

Dad who leapt from bridge with kids named
The man jumped 95 metres from the Rombachtalbrücke. Photo: Störfix / Wikimedia Commons

Dad who leapt from bridge with kids named

The identity of a man who last weekend jumped off a railway bridge with his children's bodies after stabbing them to death emerged in media reports on Wednesday. READ  

Court jails couple over son's 'new age' treatment
Photo: DPA

Court jails couple over son's 'new age' treatment

A couple have been jailed for three years by Germany's highest court after they broke off medical treatment of the woman's 12-year-old child's cystic fibrosis in favour of 'new age' treatments. READ  

Chief prosecutor sacked in media treason row
Harald Range (l) and Heiko Maas. Photo: DPA

Chief prosecutor sacked in media treason row

Germany's justice minister on Tuesday fired the chief prosecutor in an escalating row sparked by a controversial treason case against a blog accused of revealing state secrets. READ  

Greece crisis
Berlin's tough line splits European public opinion
Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras. File Photo: DPA

Berlin's tough line splits European public opinion

A study released on Tuesday shows that Germany's firm stance on Greek reforms has split European public opinion. But of all the main parties to the negotiations Berlin still fared best in the polling. READ  

Woman tries to take pony abroad in a car boot
Photo: DPA

Woman tries to take pony abroad in a car boot

A woman from Lower Saxony was stopped by police on Tuesday – for trying to carry a Shetland Pony out of the country in the boot of her Fiat Panda. READ  

Hamburg bunker blast and fire injure 38
Photo: DPA

Hamburg bunker blast and fire injure 38

UPDATE: A fire and explosion in a World War II-era bunker injured at least 38 people in Hamburg on Tuesday morning. READ  

Local list
Germany's top refreshing summer drinks
Photo: DPA

Germany's top refreshing summer drinks

Just like countries all over Europe, there's no shortage of multinational cola and other global thirst quenchers to be had in German shops. But what do you sip when you want a little local flavour? Read on to find out... READ  

Forest tragedy as best man kills groom-to-be
File photo: DPA

Forest tragedy as best man kills groom-to-be

A family outing turned into tragedy on Monday, when a best man in Thuringia accidentally killed the groom-to-be just days before his wedding. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Business & Money
Start-up helps new Berliners short cut bureaucracy
National
The 1,000s of Germans massacred after the Second World War
Sport
Germany star scores own goal with PR gaffe
Features
'Women-only' parking: sensible or sexist?
Politics
Satire and reality blur in parody party's strife
National
13-year-old boy detained for trying to join Isis
Culture
Berlin restaurant serves up Greek Crisis Menu
Rhineland
Doctor on trial after woman wakes in morgue
Society
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Outsourcing drives Apreel's Europe growth
Society
Police bust kinky Bavarian couple over painful love-making
Politics
Merkel brings Palestinian girl to tears
Hamburg
Amateur archaeologist finds Nazi gold hoard
National
Could Merkel learn a lesson in love from this doppelganger?
Travel
Why you should stay in Germany for the summer holidays
Sport
German press tell Schweinsteiger 'good riddance'
National
Hamburg gets a bouncing 100kg baby girl
Society
In North Germany, money sometimes DOES grow on trees
National
Hero mechanics stop Bavaria shooting spree
International
Denmark says that border controls are coming
National
Did hackers take control of German missile battery?
Politics
Munich gives gay pride green light
Business & Money
Berlin rent controls hit prices hard
National
Fighting to breastfeed in public without shame
Society
Ice cream for dogs 'gobbled up in one gulp'
Education
Are hotpants a feminist issue?
Rhineland
Lion cub reunited with mother
National
How the heatwave is cracking Germany's Autobahns
International
Why the French are more sympathetic to Greece than the Germans
Sponsored Article
Crans-Montana: International expat hub
Gallery
Police seize pensioner's WW2 heavy weapons haul
National
How to survive the Europe-wide heatwave
Sport
Is Schweini already out of the door at Bayern?
Politics
How German media shaped the Greece crisis
National
Car assembly robot crushes worker at Volkswagen
Rhineland
Weathermen red-faced over heatwave snow warning
Society
An eye for an eye? Mum protects child in playground with pepperspray
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's final day in Germany
National
As it happened: Queen Elizabeth's second day in Germany
National
Queen Elizabeth II's first day in Germany - as it happened
National
Bus passengers tell fake racists where to get off
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

7,097
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd