Man kills himself during fire-fight with police

An autopsy on Sunday showed that a man killed himself during a fire-fight with police in the western German town of Mannheim on Saturday. Questions had been raised about who had fired the lethal shot.

Man kills himself during fire-fight with police
Photo: DPA

Police were called to the scene when the 39-year-old threatened his landlord with a firearm during an argument. Police say the man had previously been suspected of gun and explosive-related crimes and was considered mentally unstable.

Officers in civilian clothes initially kept surveillance on the man’s flat, but a fire-fight broke out when the suspect attempted to flee. He ran down the road and pulled a gun out of his rucksack. According to the police’s account, the man pointed his gun at an officer, whereupon another officer shot him twice in the leg.

The man then apparently shot himself in the head and died instantly, though this was established only by the autopsy carried out on Sunday.

The man was carrying several dozen rounds of ammunition, while a rifle and more ammunition were found in his flat. The police also checked his flat for explosive booby-traps, but found none.

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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.