• Germany's news in English

German tourist killed in San Francisco shooting

The Local · 10 Aug 2010, 08:32

Published: 10 Aug 2010 08:32 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Mechthild Schröer , 50, of Minden, North Rhine-Westphalia was walking with her husband in the popular Union Square plaza around 9 pm on Sunday when she was caught in the crossfire between two groups and shot, according to broadcaster KTVU.

“Staff at the St. George Hotel where the couple was staying told KTVU that Schröer and his wife checked into the hotel only hours before the shooting,” the broadcaster reported. "It was their first trip to San Francisco and they were in the city to celebrate their wedding anniversary and the shooting victim’s birthday.”

The woman died of her injuries at a California hospital. Two other people were injured. On Monday night police said they had charged 18-year-old Phillip Stewart with murder.

Shortly before that, the late woman’s husband Stefan left the St. George hotel to board a flight back to Germany, the broadcaster said.

"On behalf of our entire City, I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of Mechthild Schröer, who died needlessly from this senseless violence," Mayor Gavin Newsom said in a statement on Monday.

Story continues below…

According to KTVU, the shooting, along with another in the area the same night, was part of a rash of nightclub-related violence in the city.

In response, Mayor Newsom signed an order on Monday giving the San Francisco Entertainment Commission the right to revoke nightclubs' licences for problem establishments.

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

09:15 August 10, 2010 by mhgoats
I know I will not be liked for this posting since I do advocate gun rights and the death penalty! But that 18 year old has proven, along with whoever else was involved, that he does NOT have the right to exist in this world. We do NOT need him!! I have traveled around the world and have seen many things and the way people have treated each other, both good and bad, and the world itself does not need to keep people around on the off chance they MIGHT be good for society.
09:15 August 10, 2010 by majura
NRA says: "Guns don't shoot people, people shoot people"

I say: "People shoot people, so don't let people have guns*"

*unless they've got a truly legitimate reason (sport, farming etc.)
09:38 August 10, 2010 by bigscout
For those shouting, "Gun Control" you need to look at the proven fact that 99% of crimes committed with firearms in the US are with stolen or illegally bought firearms. This is one example. The Murderer was only 18. Federal law says an 18 year old can't carry a "Hand Gun." You have to be 21 and older. It wasn't a rifle or a shot gun he was using. The next thing is, why did the city of San Francisco wait until a Tourist from another country died before finally saying to REVOLK the license of clubs that have known violence? 1. Making it harder for law biding citizens who would not have carried their weapon there in the first place won¦#39;t change things. 2. It won¦#39;t help if the others who were involved in the shootout don¦#39;t get punished. Brandishing a weapon of any kind, being it a firearm, ax, knife, hammer, or any other weapon, should be a very high punishable crime.
10:09 August 10, 2010 by RP_Lifer
Ugh, this is a terrible but seriously it comes down to one thing, personal responsibility.

Even convicts in maximum protection find ways to stab each other. There will always be a weapon whether its a gun, knife, rock, or hammer. No law can stop that.

Only through someone willfuly choosing not to do this will we stop reading daily headlines of such senseless loss of life.

I personally as a world population believe thats never going to be possible, instead, find a place that is heavily populated with people who choose not to fire guns in public places to increase your chances of not being a victim. I have friends back in the States who legally carry concealed weapon because they vow never to be unable to fire back. I think thats a terrible way to live.
11:01 August 10, 2010 by pepsionice
It was barely four weeks ago that a resident of my town (Arlington, VA) went out to the San Fransisco area for a job interview, and was killed at the ATM machine. The guy was married with two kids. And yes, they got the killer, but it really doesn't say or fix much of anything. It's not a gun thing.....it's a breakdown of society thing and has been going on for the past thirty years. These urban areas of the US simply aren't safe anymore.
14:01 August 10, 2010 by NYsteve
As an American citizen who from birth had the "right to bear arms".......after living on this earth for 51 years I can truly say...I HAVE NEVER HAD THE NEED TO OWN A GUN.....I am so tired of hearing the NRA, Charleton Heston, hunters and militant groups saying that they have the right to own a firearm.....this right was pertinent back in 1776 when we were fighting for independence and the militia could be called up and any time......but beyond a terrorist attack like 9/11, i truly believe the US will never be invaded to the point where citizens need to take up arms and fend off the invaders. I have had friends murdered in the streets due to gunfire....and yet I still don't feel the need to own a gun...with the exception of the military there is absolutely NO need to own a gun...we no longer need to hunt for our food. I'm sure that a lot of people here in the US would probvably shoot me for this opinion, but..... I admire other countries where the ownership of guns is heavily regulated.....there are a lot less of these crimes in those countries. My deepest and most sincere sympathies to Mr. Schroeer...sir, this is not the America you should have saw or experienced...I am very sorry you did.
15:30 August 10, 2010 by slawek
"According to KTVU, the shooting, ..., was part of a rash of nightclub-related violence in the city. "

This development is worrying. I wonder if there is some connection between the crime rising and the financial crisis in the US. I mean how big are the odds, you travel to the US and get shot in the middle of an urban area. This can not be an isolated incident.
19:31 August 10, 2010 by Prufrock2010
This is a tragic event for the victim, her husband and their family. My heartfelt condolences to the family.

Something about the story doesn't add up. This didn't happen in the Tenderloin or Oakland, where such occurrences are not uncommon. Union Square is one of the safest places in San Francisco, surrounded by luxury hotels such as the Saint Francis and high-end shops. It is also on the main cable car line, so it is always crowded with tourists. A shootout at 9:00 pm that's somehow related to club violence? The clubs in the area aren't even open at 9:00 pm. The article could use a little more depth. I suppose I'll have to check out the SF Chronicle online to find out what really happened.

And by the way, to all those Second Amendment absolutists who think it's the only constitutional amendment that is sacrosanct, strict regulation of handguns might have obviated this heinous crime. Any godd*mned fool can get a gun in America, as this event graphically illustrates.
19:58 August 10, 2010 by wxman
@ NYsteve, the purpose in recognizing the right to keep and bear arms was not to fend off the British. In fact, that right was not asserted until 10 years after we won the Revolutionary War. It's number 2 of the 10 rights articulated in the Bill of Rights, and its purpose was to fend off an onerous federal government, should it become necessary.
21:16 August 10, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, I lived in San Francisco for 10 years. There are some very nice neighborhoods there, especially when get away from the downtown area (Union Square). Germans and other Europeans are drawn to it, partly because it is the most European-like city in America. But San Francisco is too liberal. In some ways it is out of control.

A negative social environment attracts negative things, be it violence, floods, hurricanes or earthquakes. When the universe grows frustrated with humans, it is then forced to respond with some sort of corrective action.
22:02 August 10, 2010 by wenddiver
@Mrnosey-#15- We are not de-gunning the Middle-East, every family not committing crimes in Iraq and Afganistan is allowed to keep their AK-47s. We are trying to instal Freedom, not conficate it.

By the way these people chose one of the most leftist cities in the US, where drug use is rampant(medical marinuana) and liberals regularly interfer with the police and advocate for the dangerous anti-social elements. You would be hard pressed to find a city or State with stricter anti-gun attitudes and laws than the left coast of the US, San Francisco, California. San Francisco was like California one of the nicest places on earth, but thanks to laws that excuse violent acts, has been on a down hill slide, since 1966. The left in California always has a reason that every murder can't be punished.

@NYsteve- Lived in New York. The only people you have managed to disarn are the decent people of your city, who moved away in droves and left you the crowd that hangs out in the public toilets and shoots dope in the alleys. Distributing guns to the decent people would be a good thing in NY, since the cruds already have them.
23:36 August 10, 2010 by Prufrock2010
As one who practiced law in California for many years, I can attest that the above commentator knows absolutely nothing about the law in California. Take whatever he says as the uninformed propaganda it is intended to be.

Marijuana (notice the spelling, wenddiver?) didn't kill the German tourist in Union Square. Nor did the liberals. It was some punk teenagers with guns. When you have a population of over 300 million people, and more than 300 million guns in circulation, what the hell do you think is going to happen?

By the way, I have a medical marijuana card from California and I own 4 guns, all obtained legally after the proper background checks. Anyone who is opposed to gun control legislation is either insane, a criminal, or both.
00:40 August 11, 2010 by wenddiver
@Profroc- That Marijuana you smoke is a schedule III, drug under Federal Law. Lieing on the Federal Background Check (yellow form) to buy them was a violation of Federal Law for each Gun.

You are truely a Genius Leftie if you think that you should have dope and a gun in the same house.

The Marijuana confession makes a lot of sense, considering your past ramblings. Let me guess brain tumor or unable to handle the stress of ordinary life.

As ussual Profoc's lieing about the laws in the US. Go to any US Gun site and you will always see they don't ship to Massachuettes, New York, California, New Jersey and Michigan, because of the Draconian Gun Laws in these areas.

These areas are hotbeds of liberal anti-gun activity and also lead the nation in being awful places to live. High taxes, high crime, large social welfare programs, decreasing employment, all of these they have. The same criminal justice system that wastes time harrassing law abiding citizens about their guns in these states, makes little to nno effort to remove Drug Gangs, Smugglers, Street crime, etc.
00:41 August 11, 2010 by Prufrock2010
How many people were shot to death in Germany in the past year?
00:58 August 11, 2010 by Der Grenadier aus Aachen
"For those shouting, "Gun Control" you need to look at the proven fact that 99% of crimes committed with firearms in the US are with stolen or illegally bought firearms. This is one example."

Completely irrelevant. More guns in circulation = more guns stolen.
01:46 August 11, 2010 by thequeen09@att.net
I am in agreement with NO GUNS PERIOD! We do not need to hunt for food, we do not need the blood sport of killing animals, and we do not to be armed to protect our country. But reality will sink in and guns will still get into the hands of the wrong people. I wish I new the answer but I often wonder if more money should be spent on prisons and start putting offenders in there for good. That may send a message. I to am sorry tha guests of our country could not even enjoy their time here. We need to start removing offenders and not just give them a time out.
04:22 August 11, 2010 by Jasmine33
I'd just like to say that I'm very sorry to hear what happened to this German couple in San Francisco, where there was so much lost. A man lost his wife, children lost their mother, and even the teen loser (s) who caused this to happen lost because the murder charge will forever be on their record and their life ruined. This happened because a stupid teenager decided to shoot at some other stupid teenagers. When I was a teenager we were going to parties, swimming in summer, watching tv, talking on the phone, going to church, etc. We were not pointing a gun at someone and pulling the trigger. Teens are out of control and it's not just in the US, it's everywhere. There has been a lot of gun control talk here and that may be the answer, but these teens still got ahold of those guns somewhere (adults, black market, etc.). Some here have stated that we don't have to hunt for food or do sport killing of animals, and that is right. For those like myself that live in rural areas on acreage, yes we need guns to for protection from snakes, rabid animals, wild animals threatening to attack. To thequeen09@att.net though, you say NO GUNS PERIOD. What would you do then when an attacker threatens you and your family? We do not need to be armed to protect our country? What will we do then when another country does use arms to attack us? A lot of people don't like guns, I don't like them, I'm not sure if I could shoot someone about to attack me, I guess I'll find out should that ever happen.
11:18 August 11, 2010 by jade_divoff
Condolences to the family and especially to the husband on such a tragic pointless death. Life is hard enough finding a woman you can live with for 25 years without losing her to some stupid teenager in a foreign country.

@wendiver -

You obviously have not been to NYC in over a decade. Crime has steadily decreased and real estate prices have gone through the roof with the elite buying up all available property; there is no mass exodus of people as you described and the only time I ever saw someone shoot up in an alley was in Leipzig. This holds true even during the recession and even in former hotbeds of gun violence such as Harlem. I am not saying it is perfect, we live under constant terrorism threats from bombs not guns, but it is also not this hotbed of anarchy that you described due to strict gun regulation. Indeed, one may argue that these regulations helped clean up the streets and that the majority of gun violence in the city these days is from using firearms obtained from states with no gun control.
01:06 August 13, 2010 by Prufrock2010
Nathaniel --

Case law is not made by lawyers. It is made by appellate courts on the state, federal circuit or Supreme Court level. Don't blame lawyers for what courts decide is case law. Lawyers argue, appellate courts decide.
07:28 August 14, 2010 by erinjohn
i love hearing the lefty loonies who say we dont need guns. hey nysteve...you know for a fact we will never be invaded?...um theres a new thing going on its called the unresolved war with north korea....yeah they may nuke the south...oh yeah the latest superpower china who tends to side with north korea just issued a statement ...they dont like that the usa supports south korea...if china got involved in a war with south korea and the usa...china has more than enough troops to hop the bering sea into alaska...oh by the way japan invaded alaska in ww2 if you recall....chinese troops could very easily smash through canada and be in the usa within a week. so what would nysteve do then?...fight? oh he has no guns..he had them banned because hes a weak, cowardly constitution hater. now at that point hes either dead or a pow...and so is is friends and family.
19:54 August 14, 2010 by offgrid
I think the gun control conversation here is clouding some more important questions. The area was relatively safe, german tourists are some of the best in the world at touring navigation. It was a rap/hip hop party event at a temporary rented club which brought gangs from other dangerous black gang areas to the union square theater area. The real questions I think are, why are some groups in society 10 times more likely statistically to commit violent crime? With african and south america populations expected to double in 50 years, and weak immigration controls, it's only going to get much worse. These cultures do not cooperate or integrate well in civilized society. I was in norway and sweden only a few days ago and enjoying how peaceful people were. I do own a gun and keep it loaded to protect my ranch from home invasion. If not allowed a gun, I would have several lethal crossbows , so whats the difference?
Today's headlines
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd