Woman ‘shot to death’ in north Germany under cover of firework show

Woman 'shot to death' in north Germany under cover of firework show
The aftermath of New Year's firework celebrations in Hanover. Photo: DPA
Prosecutors have opened a murder investigation after a young mother was believed to be killed by a gunshot to the head near the north German town of Kiel while watching a firework show at New Year.

Nina D., a 39-year-old mother of three, has died in hospital after being shot in the head in the early hours of January 1st, prosecutors in Kiel, Schleswig Holstein, said on Thursday.

Initially investigators believed that the metal that struck the young woman in the head was from an illegal firework, but the coroner’s report concluded that she had been struck by a bullet of an unknown calibre.

“After the autopsy, we assume with a high probability that the woman was killed by a gunshot wound,” Birgit Heß, senior public prosecutor in Kiel told Bild newspaper.

Nina D. had stepped out of her house in the district of Schönberg, just outside Kiel, with her husband and young daughter to watch the New Year’s firework display. But she collapsed several minutes later after being struck by a metal projectile.

Police are currently questioning people from the neighbourhood to try and ascertain who was on the street at the time.

This is the second time in consecutive years that someone has been shot during New Year’s celebrations when firework displays create a cacophony of noise in the streets of German cities.

Last year an elderly man shot and seriously wounded a 12-year-old girl while she was watching a firework show in Salzgitter The man was sentenced to a nine months in prison for the shooting, which he blamed on over-consumption of alcohol.

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