Dead businessman ‘could be victim of contract hit’

A German businessman who was found shot dead next to his Mercedes in Bremen’s largest parking garage at the weekend. Police are not ruling out a contract killing.

Dead businessman 'could be victim of contract hit'
Photo: DPA

The 46-year-old promotional sales tour organizer, named only as Jörg H., was returning to his car after a shopping trip in the city, Bild newspaper reported on Monday, when he was approached by the killer and shot several times in the chest at close range.

The motives for the murder remain unclear, though police are not ruling out a contract killing, the paper said.

Police found thousands of euros in cash and expensive jewellery on the victim after the shooting.

The killer, whose image was caught by surveillance cameras, reportedly left the scene calmly after the shooting. He is between 19 and 25 years old, 1.80 metres tall (5 feet 9 inches), has a three-day-beard and wore a gray baseball cap.

When police arrived at the scene Saturday the victim was lying in a pool of his own blood. He died later at a local hospital.

The victim was reportedly involved in so-called Kaffeefahrten, or sales trips typically aimed at senior citizens, in which they are bused or brought to a location and given a sales pitch.

One investigator told Bild that the motive could involve a personal or business grievance, and could relate to the Kaffeefahrten. He said the industry can be particularly cut-throat and lucrative. “[Kaffeefahrten] involve a lot of money, and the gloves are off,” he said.

The Local/mbw

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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.