Tuesday October 26, 2021

Politicians shocked

Man shot dead at German gas station over coronavirus mask dispute

Published : 21 Sep 2021, 21:50

  DF News Desk

The shooting dead of a petrol station cashier in Germany, apparently over a dispute about wearing a face mask, has prompted leading politicians to warn about a "radicalization" of those who oppose coronavirus measures. Photo: dpa by Thomas Frey.

German prosecutors said Monday that a gas station cashier was shot dead over a dispute about wearing a coronavirus mask, reported dpa.

A 49-year-old man who was in a gas station in the western town of Idar-Oberstein became irate when the employee refused to sell him beer due to his lack of mouth and nose protection, chief prosecutor Kai Fuhrmann said in the city of Trier.

The alleged perpetrator confessed to having killed the 20-year-old student with a shot to the head, saying that the burden of the pandemic had caused him to do it, said Fuhrmann.

He felt pushed into a corner and "saw no other way out" than to set an example. The victim seemed to him "responsible for the overall situation, since he was enforcing the rules," said Fuhrmann.

According to investigators, the 49-year-old entered the gas station without a mask on Saturday evening and placed two six-packs of beer on the counter. The cashier pointed out the mask requirement, whereupon the man left the gas station.

An hour later he returned wearing a mask and placed another six-pack of beer at the cash register.

"There he pulled the mouth and nose cover down," said Fuhrmann, adding that when the cashier again advised the man to comply with the mask requirement the perpetrator then pulled out a revolver and shot the 20-year-old in the head.

The suspect was arrested on Sunday morning in Idar-Oberstein.

Meanwhile, the shooting dead of a petrol station cashier in Germany, apparently over a dispute about wearing a face mask, has prompted leading politicians to warn about a "radicalization" of those who oppose coronavirus measures.

The Greens' candidate for chancellor, Annalena Baerbock, on Twitter linked the shooting to the Lateral Thinking movement, which includes people strongly against coronavirus restrictions.

"The radicalization of the Lateral Thinking scene makes me deeply concerned ... we must all counter the growing hate," she wrote.

The secretary-general of the centre-right Christian Democrats (CDU), Paul Ziemiak, wrote that "a young man was effectively executed because he tried to insist on the obligation to wear a mask."

This was, Ziemiak tweeted, an "inconceivable level of radicalization."

In the incident on the weekend, a 49-year-old man who was in a petrol station shop in the western town of Idar-Oberstein allegedly became irate when the cashier refused to sell him beer due to his lack of a face mask.

Chief prosecutor Kai Fuhrmann said on Monday that the alleged perpetrator, who is in custody, confessed to having killed the 20-year-old student with a shot to the head, saying that the burden of the pandemic had caused him to do it.

Fuhrmann told dpa on Tuesday that investigators were still "establishing a clear picture" of what had happened.