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CRIME

Man stabs family and jumps off balcony

A man in North Rhine-Westphalia is dead after stabbing his family and then jumping off his third-floor apartment balcony, police said on Friday.

The 42-year-old Castrop-Rauxel resident apparently stabbed his wife and two sons during a family dispute around midnight on Thursday. As the situation escalated, neighbours apparently opened the apartment door, after which the man jumped from the balcony. He died later in the hospital.

His 38-year-old wife and seven-year-old son sustained serious injuries, but doctors were able to stabilise both patients in emergency surgery. The second son, a four-year-old, sustained only light puncture wounds.

Police said they are not sure whether the man’s wife also injured him with a knife and are awaiting autopsy results from the state prosecutor’s office.

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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