German politicians have expressed concern over the radicalization of those who disagree with Covid restrictions, after the arrest of a 49-year-old German citizen on suspicion of killing a gas station worker who refused to serve him even though he was not wearing a mask.
Authorities in the western city of Trier said the suspect told officers he acted “out of anger” after the 20-year-old cashier at a gas station in the town of Idar-Oberstein, Rhineland -Palatinate, asked him to put on a mask.
“He further stated during questioning that he rejects the measures against the coronavirus,” police said.
According to the public prosecutor, the man said he felt “pushed to its limits” and held the victim “responsible for the whole situation because he had enforced the rules”.
The suspect entered the Aral gas station around 7:45 p.m. on Saturday and picked up a six pack of beers. CCTV footage shows a mask tucked into the back of the man’s pants.
After the cashier warned him twice that it was mandatory to wear a mask inside the gas station, the man dropped the beers after a brief exchange of words and left.
He returned two hours later, this time wearing a mask which he put under his chin as he stood at the counter. “Eventually he pulled a gun from his pocket and fired a fatal shot at the 20-year-old student from Idar-Oberstein,” police said.
The suspect fled on foot but went to a city police station the next morning.
“I am shocked by the terrible murder of a young man, who had only asked others to follow the rules in force, to be considerate and to show solidarity,” tweeted Annalena Baerbock, the Greens candidate for the chancellor.
“I am very concerned about the radicalization of Lateral thinker [Germany’s movement of pandemic sceptics] She added. “We must all resist the growing hatred. “
Police said the suspect was not in legal possession of the weapon used in the attack and had not previously been on authorities’ radar. There is no indication that the victim and the shooter knew each other before the incident.
The mayor of Idar-Oberstein, Frank Frühauf, expressed his shock and dismay at the crime. “It is a completely inconceivable and terrible act that has taken place here in Idar-Oberstein,” he said. “Such a crime is unprecedented. It will take time to accept it. “