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‘Police killer’ confesses to shooting officer

UPDATE: A suspect has been arrested following the killing of an off-duty police officer in western Germany on Wednesday night. The shooting sparked a large manhunt near Frankfurt on Thursday.

'Police killer' confesses to shooting officer
Officers searching a field on Thursday near the scene of the killing. Photo: DPA
The 50-year-old officer was shot dead in the street in Bischofsheim, Hesse, prompting a manhunt on Thursday with dogs and helicopters for the suspected shooter. Prosecutors also offered a €5,000 cash reward for information.

Late on Thursday police in Darmstadt said they had arrested a 57-year-old man at his apartment following a tip-off. He has already confessed, according to police

The motive for Wednesday’s killing remains unclear, but it had nothing to do with the victim's career choice, investigators said on Friday. 

The officer was shot while walking his dog with his wife and a friend around the edge of a field.
 
The group noticed a man following them who kept stopping when they stopped. 
 
When the police officer, who was dressed in civilian clothes, challenged him, the shooter opened fire.
 
"We're appalled by the murder of our colleague in southern Hesse and are stunned by this cruel, cowardly and senseless act," said Heini Schmidt, head of the regional chapter of the DPolG police union.

"We hope that the brutal murderer will be caught very soon and given his just punishment, even though this can be of no comfort and will not bring our colleague back." 

SEE ALSO: Manhunt on for policeman's killer

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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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