Czech Republic: Romani victim says shooting was unprovoked
According to the Romani youth who survived yesterday's shooting incident in Tanvald, the 63-year-old man who fired at him and his brother did so for no reason whatsoever. Ladislav Tatár, the father of the victims, one of whom was shot to death, has informed news server Romea.cz of his surviving son's statement. Tatár also said the alleged shooter, who is no longer in custody, is a former police officer. TV Nova has reported that the alleged shooter has since traveled to Germany.
The following is an interview conducted by news server Romea.cz with Mr Tatár:
Q: Do you have any more specific information about this incident?
A: I have just returned from visiting my son and he keeps saying the same thing. They were walking to their grandmother's house to wish her a happy new year and that person started shooting at them. I have also learned from the television news that this man is said to have had some previous conflict with some Romani people, who caused him a head injury. The racial motivation is clear. He saw "Gypsies" and shot them immediately.
Q: What specifically did your son say?
A: They were walking to their grandmother's house and having a good time. They didn't even notice someone was there, they didn't observe him at all. The shooter pulled out a pistol and started firing without warning - then he called the police. My boy was still alive then - why didn't the shooter call an ambulance? He didn't provide them with any basic first aid, he just stood outside the building next to ours and called the police because he believed he had shot them both dead. Maybe he wanted to tell them he'd been attacked. He didn't count on one of them crawling home and that I would save my child's life.
Q: Where did the conflict take place?
A: Not quite 200 meters from our building. The shooter lives 30 meters further on.
Q: Do you know this person? Have you ever had any conflict with him before?
A: No, I've just seen him around. We never had any conflict with him, including my sons.
Q: How long have you been living in Tanvald?
A: About a year and a half.
Q: Have the police said anything to you?
A: They have not contacted me at all, I don't understand it. When it happened they told me they would be by within 45 minutes. I already knew my son was dead. As of today, no one has contacted me, it's been quite a long time. The shooter is a former police officer, he has to have some contacts there. We will file criminal charges about this with the state prosecutor, we will complain.
Q: Had you ever heard that the shooter was aggressive somehow, or confrontational?
A: It wasn't until today that I heard on television that he had had a conflict with some Romani people. That's why this is racially motivated, it was revenge. My two grandchildren now have no father.
Q: There has been speculation that your sons have criminal records. Do they?
A: They have both served suspended sentences.
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