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CRIME

Victims’ parents planning school shooting hotline

A new foundation being formed to prevent school attacks has announced plans to create an early-warning system and 24-hour hotline for students to report threats.

Victims' parents planning school shooting hotline
Photo: DPA

The foundation, Gegen Gewalt an Schulen, or “Against violence in schools,” will be officially founded on November 18 thanks to donations of some €50,000. It was formed out of the action alliance Amoklauf Winnenden created by community members in Winnenden after a 17-year-old killed 15 people and himself at his former school and in flight from the crime scene on March 11.

Members include parents of students killed by the shooter.

The new warning system will include a phone and text message hotline, in addition to an online form where students can register evidence of threats from fellow classmates, Amoklauf Winnenden spokeswoman Gisela Mayer said as the scheme was announced on Monday.

The organisation will be aided by church networks and crime prevention organisations to stay running 24-hours a day in the state of Baden-Württemberg where the shooting occurred, and then later across the nation, she added.

In the nearby state of Bavaria, an 18-year-old student attacked an Ansbach high school with five Molotov cocktails, knives and an axe in September. One teacher and nine students were injured – two girls severely.

In May a 16-year-old student nearly severed a fellow classmates’ thumb with a knife when she was caught off guard before she could carry out an arson attack on her school near Bonn.

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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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