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World Cup row shooting suspect surrenders

A German man suspected of shooting two Italians in a pub in Hannover after a row about the World Cup has surrendered to authorities on the Spanish island of Majorca, police said Wednesday.

World Cup row shooting suspect surrenders
The suspect filmed getting cash at an ATM. Photo: DPA

The authorities said the man, a 42-year-old identified only as Holger B., had given himself up on Tuesday at a court in Palma and had been remanded in custody by a magistrate.

“We had early indications that the suspect had fled to Majorca,” said Hannover police spokesman Heiko Steiner.

An argument in a bar early on Monday, apparently about the performances of Italy and Germany in past football World Cups, turned deadly when B. left the pub, returned a short time later with a 9mm pistol and shot the two Italians in the head, according to German police. Both the victims, aged 47 and 49, died later.

Majorca is a favourite spot for Germans, with nearly four million visiting the Mediterranean island annually and tens of thousands living there permanently.

“We have no doubt the suspect will quickly be extradited to Germany,” said Irene Silinger, spokeswoman for Hannover’s state prosecutor’s office.

The atmosphere was expected to be febrile later Wednesday with Spain playing Germany in the World Cup semi-finals. Italy, one of the favourites after winning the 2006 World Cup, crashed out in the group stages after a humiliating loss to Slovakia.

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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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