SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Merkel ‘deeply saddened’ by US massacre

Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed deep shock and sadness on Saturday at news of Friday's primary school shooting in Newtown in Connecticut in the USA, in which 20 children and six adults were shot to death by a gunman.

Merkel 'deeply saddened' by US massacre
A mother comforts a child at a vigil held for the victims on Friday. Photo: DPA

“The news from Newtown saddens me deeply. Once again we are faced with horror from a deed which we cannot grasp,” said Chancellor Merkel in a statement, joining leaders across the world who expressed their sympathies with victims and their families in the aftermath of the massacre.

“The thought of the murdered pupils and teachers makes my heart heavy” Merkel added. “My deepest sympathies go out to the relatives, I wish you strength and comfort, may you not be alone in your pain.”

At 9.30 on Friday morning, 20 year-old gunman Adam Lanza entered Sandy Hook elementary school armed with pistols and a semiautomatic rifle, and preceded to shoot dead on the spot six members of staff including the school principle and 18 schoolchildren said to be aged between five and 10 years old.

Two further children were taken to hospital where they died of their wounds. Lanza, who died at the scene, had earlier shot his mother Nancy in her home. Further details were slow to emerge on Saturday as police continued their investigation of the crime scene.

Christoph Matschie, vice-president of Thuringia, said the shooting had left him “stunned and in deep mourning.” He added that the massacre brought up the terrible experiences of April 2002, when a 19 year-old pupil shot 16 people at a school in Erfurt in Thuringia, before turning the gun on himself.

DPA/The Local/jlb

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

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.

SHOW COMMENTS