• Germany's news in English

Hamburg homeowner shoots intruder dead

DPA/The Local · 24 Jun 2015, 14:35

Published: 24 Jun 2015 14:35 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

A homeowner in Jenfeld, a district of Hamburg, took the law into his own hands late on Tuesday night, as two suspected burglars broke into his house.

According to police reports, the two men rang the doorbell of the detached house at around 11pm and asked the 63-year-old resident "whether there had just been an ambulance here".

When the man said no, the pair initially left, but 15 minutes later they returned. This time the man opened his door on the chain for security, but the intruders tried to force their way in.

One of the unwanted invaders managed to get into the hallway, and he was then shot by the homeowner.

The wounded burglar staggered away from the scene and collapsed from his injury at a junction about 200 metres from the house. His accomplice managed to flee and is still on the run from police.

Forensic teams looking for prints at the scene. Photo: DPA

Paramedics arrived and tried to save the wounded intruder, but were unable to prevent him from succumbing to his injuries.

After calling the police himself, the homeowner was taken in for questioning. Once he had been interrogated, and his criminal record had been checked, he was released.

The Hamburg prosecution office saw no reason to issue an arrest warrant at this time.

Not a one-off

A very similar case a few weeks ago in Hannover ended in the death of an 18-year-old intruder. On this occasion it was a man defending his property from a group of three burglars, one of whom was armed.

The 40-year-old workshop owner shot the 18-year-old burglar, who later died from his injuries in hospital. 

A police spokesman said that the shooter had a license for his weapon and that he is now under investigation for suspected manslaughter.

Story continues below…

In December 2014, during a robbery of a jeweler's in Moers, western Germany, one of three burglars was shot dead by the shop owner.

In 2011, a pensioner in Sittensen, northern Germany, was given a suspended sentence for shooting a 16-year-old, who was fleeing after having robbed his house. The defence and the public prosecutors have since filed a revision.

Gun laws are generally strict in Germany, as licenses to own a firearm are only given when it is deemed "necessary", for example to competitive shooters, hunters and firearm collectors or experts.

Even with one of these permits, heavier firearms, such as automatic firearms and pump-action shotguns, are prohibited.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Supermarket Edeka warns of exploding apple juice bottles
Photo: DPA

"Risk of injury" from "Gut und Günstig" sparkling apple juice bottles has forced Germany's largest supermarket to recall the product.

By wheelchair from Syria to Germany: teen's story of hope
Nujeen Mustafa. Photo: HarperCollins-William Collins Publicity/Private

She tackled the gruelling 2,000-kilometre migrant trail in a wheelchair, translating along the way for other refugees using English she learned from a US soap opera. Now this teen is living in Germany and hoping to inspire others with a newly published memoir.

Berlin Zoo to have a pair of pandas by next summer
A recently born panda pair at Vienna Zoo. Photo: DPA

The giant bamboo-eating bears will move into a brand new 5,000 square-metre enclosure in the capital's Zoologischer Garten.

Two new spider species discovered in Munich
Zoropsis spinimana. Photo: rankingranqueen / Wikimedia Commons

It's news every arachnophobe in Munich is no doubt thrilled to hear: two types of spider new to the region have been discovered in the Bavarian capital - and one of them bites!

After woman's body found in barrel, husband may walk free
Franziska S., who went missing 24 years ago. Photo: Hanover police.

A woman disappeared in Hanover 24 years ago, but no one reported her missing. Although her husband has now confessed to her murder, he still may not step foot in jail.

Two injured after army tank falls 50 metres in Alps
A Bundeswehr Puma tank. File photo: DPA

A Bundeswehr (German army) soldier has been severely injured after the tank he was riding in crashed 50 metres down an embankment after going off course in bad weather.

Teen girl stands trial for 'Isis' police stabbing in Hanover
Police guard the courthouse in Celle. Photo: DPA

A teenage girl stands trial from Thursday in Germany for stabbing a police officer, an assault allegedly "ordered" by Isis but which was not claimed by the jihadist group.

Merkel threatens Putin with more sanctions on Berlin visit
Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel created a united front with French President Francois Hollande in Berlin on Thursday to denounce Russia’s “war crimes” in Syria.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
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
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd