Shop worker is murdered ‘after refusing to sell beer to a maskless customer who then returned wearing a face covering and shot the 20-year-old in the head’ in Germany
- The 49-year-old gunman tried to buy beer at the Trier shop without a mask
- After a dispute, he left but returned an hour later with a gun and shot the worker
- He fled but handed himself in the next day and said he acted ‘out of anger’
A shop worker has been murdered in Germany after refusing to sell beer to a maskless customer.
The 20-year-old petrol station clerk was shot dead by the 49-year-old who returned home to pick up a gun after the dispute on Saturday evening, police said.
The suspect first entered the shop in Trier in western Germany at around 7.45pm without a mask and tried to buy a six-pack of beer.
A shop worker has been murdered in Germany after refusing to sell beer to a maskless customer (pictured)
The 20-year-old petrol station clerk (pictured) was shot dead by the 49-year-old who returned home to pick up a gun after the dispute on Saturday evening, police said
The worker told him to comply with the petrol station’s rules and would not serve him without wearing a protective face covering.
The customer, who ‘rejected measures against Covid’, started an argument with the worker before leaving the shop empty-handed.
Around an hour later, he returned wearing a mask and carrying a concealed revolver.
He then approached the counter, pulled down the mask and gunned down the student employee.
Senior public prosecutor Kai Fuhrmann said the victim died from a gunshot wound to the head and the suspect fled on foot.
A manhunt was launched before the gunman handed himself into police the following day.
The 49-year-old was then arrested on suspicion of murder after he told officers he ‘acted out of anger’.
The worker told him to comply with the petrol station’s rules and would not serve him without wearing a protective face covering. Pictured: people pay their tributes outside the shop
‘He further stated during interrogation that he rejected the measures against coronavirus,’ police said in a statement.
They added that the pandemic had greatly stressed him and he ‘saw no other way out’ than to make an example of the shop worker.
Fuhrmann said the gunman held the victim ‘responsible for the overall situation, because he enforced the rules’, DW reported.
During a search of his apartment, police found the murder weapon along with other firearms and ammunition.
The killing in the western town of Idar-Oberstein is believed to be the first in Germany linked to the government’s Covid rules.
A requirement to wear masks is among the measures in place in Germany to stop the spread of the virus.
Idar-Oberstein mayor Frank Fruehauf called it ‘an unfathomable, terrible act’, and residents have laid flowers and candles outside the petrol station.
The murder comes just days before Germans head to the polls for a general election on September 26 that will see Chancellor Angela Merkel bow out of politics after 16 years.
Katrin Goering-Eckardt, the parliamentary leader of the Green party, tweeted that she was ‘deeply shaken’ by the killing, which she said was ‘the cruel result of hatred’.
Agriculture Minister Julia Kloeckner from Merkel’s centre-right CDU party, who hails from the region, said the murder was ‘shocking’.
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.
Germany has seen repeated protests from anti-mask demonstrators throughout the pandemic, some of them attracting tens of thousands of people.
The Querdenker (Lateral Thinkers) movement has emerged as the loudest voice against the government’s coronavirus curbs and regulations. Its marches have drawn a wide mix of people, including vaccine sceptics, neo-Nazis and members of Germany’s far-right AfD party.