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Two girls saved by Tugce A. come forward

DPA/The Local · 1 Dec 2014, 08:44

Published: 01 Dec 2014 08:44 GMT+01:00

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"Tugce will be missed by us all - we're going to miss her warm smile," her father told the Bild am Sonntag. "The first day without Tugce is like a day with no tomorrow."

After being declared brain dead by doctors in the Offenbach hospital, her family said good bye on Friday with birthday cake. Below the window, 1,500 well-wishers gathered in front below, holding a vigil, commending the 23-year-old for her civil courage.

Tugce A. had been in the hospital since November 15, when she saw a group of men harassing a pair of girls in a McDonald's. The group then turned on her in an attack that went from the fast-food restaurant into the parking lot. She then fell into a coma that she would never wake from.

GALLERY: Hundreds mourn good samaritan

Her body was then taken to the Institute of Forensic Medicine (RMIF) in Frankfurt am Main where an autopsy will be performed to find the exact cause of death. They also hope to find out if the deadly blows were already dealt out in the restaurant or the further violence in the parking lot.

One man, 18, is in custody following the attack. Police are charging him with grievous bodily harm causing death.

They are feverishly searching for the two women Tugce A. helped.

Reactions to her death have come from across the country. President Joachim Gauck wrote the family a letter of condolence, saying the young woman had "earned all our gratitude and respect" through her actions.

"Where other people look away, Tugce acted with exemplary bravery and courage," he wrote.

Photos of Tugce at a vigil held in her honour. Photo: DPA

A change.org petition calling for Tugce A. to receive a posthumous honour has already gathered more than 100,000 signatures.

McDonald's also made a statement, saying the brutal attack "has left us all stunned, especially the employees at the restaurant in Offenbach Kaserlei."

Doctors from the clinic in Offenbach have also said that even in death, the 23 year old is still helping people. Today, people around Germany have a second chance at life thanks to the organs she donated. 

Story continues below…

The family has also pleaded with people to not share a video that has surfaced on the Internet of the fight.

"The family does not want this video to be shown," a family friend told Focus Online

Until now, only police had access to the security camera footage of the McDonald's parking lot that night. A campaign saying "She showed us courage, now we have to show her respect" is encouraging people to not watch or share the video, which is currently embedded in Bild's coverage of the story.

"We don't know how the video went public on the Internet," a police spokesperson said. .  

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DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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