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CRIME

Frankfurt police hunt gunmen after broad-daylight shooting

Police are hunting for unknown gunmen who shot and seriously wounded two men in broad daylight in central Frankfurt on Thursday.

Frankfurt police hunt gunmen after broad-daylight shooting
Police forensics officers examine the victims' car, with bullet holes clearly visible in the windscreen. Photo: DPA

The two victims were climbing out of a white Mercedes SUV on Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz in the late afternoon when the attackers opened fire.

They had been sitting outside a cafe just metres away from the Zeil pedestrian zone, one of Germany's busiest shopping streets.

Large numbers of heavily-armed officers were immediately dispatched to the scene, where the victims' car could be seen standing with several bullet holes in its windscreen.

Officers are now hunting for a black estate car which they believe to have been the getaway vehicle.

A pistol lies on the ground at the scene of the shootout in Frankfurt. Photo: DPA

A motorbike and a firearm were both recovered from the scene and have been taken in for forensic tests.

Investigators told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung that they had ruled out the possibility of a terrorist attack and were focusing on possible links to organized crime.

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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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