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Czech prosecutor indicts shooter for murder, refutes police report that he was responding to victim driving into people

14.2.2018 7:20
The shooting of a Romani man in Chomutov on 27 May 2017. (COLLAGE:
The shooting of a Romani man in Chomutov on 27 May 2017. (COLLAGE:

The gunman who shot a 34-year-old Romani man to death on Jirkovská Street at the Písečná housing estate in Chomutov last May has been charged with murder and property damage and faces between 12 and 20 years in prison if convicted. The case will be tried by the Regional Court in Ústí nad Labem.

The indictment refutes what police alleged during their investigation, namely, that prior to allegedly being "stopped" by the shooter, the victim had driven his car into people on the sidewalk. The unfortunate incident happened on Saturday, 27 May 2017.

During the course of the previous evening a family dispute developed between 34-year-old Radek Š. and his uncle that escalated at about 3 AM that day. Radek Š. got into his van and decided to drive away, but his relatives did their best to prevent him from doing so.

During their maneuvers the van damaged a parked automobile. The 37-year-old gunman who then ran out of a nearby apartment building and began shooting Radek Š. was basing his behavior on his mother's description of the situation, according to the indictment.

"On the basis of his mother saying that somebody outside was driving an automobile in a confused way, hitting other cars and maybe even people, and after looking out the window, he decided to stop the vehicle which, in his opinion, endangered the health and lives of the people there," news server quotes the indictment as saying. However, the notion that the gunman's actions were an effort to protect people on the street from a vehicle that was heading for them in such a way is contravened by the fact that Radek Š. was moving the automobile very slowly, at a speed of seven or eight kilometers per hour, according to the indictment.

There were also no barriers or people in the way of the vehicle to be threatened by its forward movement. The gunman fired at least 13 shots at the victim, eight of which hit him.

The victim died on the spot as a consequence of his serious injuries. The indictment has now refuted the information that police communicated to the public about the case during their investigation, alleging that the driver had crashed into parked cars and driven into people standing in front of the apartment building on the sidewalk.

According to the supervising state prosecutor, Vladimír Jan, the driver posed no danger to anybody at the scene of the tragedy. All of the others involved in the argument, with the exception of the driver of the automobile, had been out of any danger posed by the car for some time, so the gunman actually saved nobody by firing his weapon.

"It was not proven that his behavior met the definition of necessary defense, which would not be criminal," Jan told news server The mother of the gunman, according to the indictment, also told investigators that she tried to convince her son not to leave the apartment, and it was she and several neighbors on the street who immediately called the police.

"At that moment the police were practically already at the scene. The man involved had decided to take justice into his own hands for no reason," the prosecutor told news server

According to Jan, the crime was not racially motivated. Nobody corroborated the rumor that the gunman had allegedly abusively shouted "Shut your black mug, you gypsy fucker!" at the victim.

If it had been proven that the murder was racially motivated, the defendant could have faced extraordinary sentencing upon conviction. The gunman was in custody for two months to prevent him from influencing witnesses but has been free on his own recognizance since August.

bau, Renata Kováčová, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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