Shock after German petrol station worker is shot dead over mask row
FRANKFURT : Germany reacted with shock and outrage yesterday after a 20-year-old petrol station worker was shot dead by a customer angry about being asked to put on a mask while buying beer.
The killing on Saturday in the western town of Idar-Oberstein is believed to be the first in Germany linked to the government's coronavirus rules.
The row started when the cashier, a student, told the customer to put on a face mask, as required in all German shops. After a brief argument, the man left.
The suspect then returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask.
But as he brought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off the mask and another discussion ensued.
"The perpetrator then pulled out a revolver and shot him straight in the head," prosecutor Kai Fuhrmann told reporters on Monday.
The suspect, a 49-year-old German man, walked to a police station the following day to turn himself in. He was arrested and has confessed to the murder.
He told police he felt "cornered" by the coronavirus measures, which he perceived as an "ever-growing infringement on his rights" and he saw "no other way out", Mr Fuhrmann said.
Idar-Oberstein Mayor Frank Fruehauf called it "an unfathomable, terrible act", and residents have laid flowers and candles outside the petrol station.
The Tagesspiegel newspaper said far-right chat groups on Telegram were applauding the murder, with one user writing "Here we go!!!" while others posted thumbs-up emojis. - AFP