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November 22, 2019
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TV Nova reports two witnesses claim Romani youths attacked man who shot them in Tanvald

Tanvald, 4.1.2012 21:51, (ROMEA)
TV Nova reporter Ivan Berka. (PHOTO:  Repro TV Nova)

TV Nova is reporting yet another version of the tragic event that took place on New Year's Day in Tanvald resulting in the death of one man and the injury of another. Two Romani youths are said to have attacked a pensioner from behind who then started shooting in self-defense.

Yesterday the Prima television station reported a different version of the incident. According to that report, the Romani youths did not intend to attack the man, but did get into an argument and shoving match with him. Police and the state prosecutor are remaining silent as to details.

TV Nova reporter Ivan Berka said the version of events presented by the Tatár family is starting to unravel. "According to several of our very reliable sources, the brothers are said to have jointly attacked the pensioner with a knife. One is said to have even caused the pensioner a head injury which was bleeding profusely, after which he fell to the ground. The pensioner allegedly reflexively drew his weapon, shooting one of the brothers dead and injuring the other one. At least two witnesses are said to have described the incident to police. One had a close-up view of it and another saw what happened at a distance. The pensioner immediately called the police after the incident and provided first aid to both of the Romani victims together with the witnesses. The brother of the Romani victim who was shot dead is said to have not waited for the ambulance but to have run home (not to have 'crawled' as his family described it), where he reportedly did his best to convince his father that his injuries had been caused by a firecracker, not by being shot by someone for no reason. While the shooter was sober at the time of the incident, each of the alleged attackers had alcohol in their blood," Berka reported.

Yesterday evening the Prima television channel broadcast a different version of what might have happened on the outskirts of Tanvald. According to their "reliable sources", a relative of the victims was at the scene who claims that what happened was an unfortunate accident. There was reportedly no plan to attack the shooter or attempt to rob him, as some other media outlets have reported. Those involved in the incident encountered one another randomly on a narrow path and a shoving match ensued. Everyone involved had been drinking alcohol. The 63-year-old man is then said to have seen a knife, which caused him to draw his weapon (for which he had a permit) and to shoot. His defensive maneuver is said to have been an overreaction.

The 24-year-old brother of the deceased Romani man has unequivocally denied the allegations that they attacked the pensioner, saying they had no such intention. "What I remember is that my brother and I were walking out of Tanvald. I heard a blow and my brother was on the ground. I then felt another blow and pain. All I can remember is that I crawled home and woke up here in the hospital," the youth told TV Nova yesterday, adding that he had bent over his brother to take his pulse, which was weak. "It all happened terribly quickly," he said.

Police and the state prosecutor have released a minimum of information about the incident so far. The man who shot at the youths has not yet been charged by police and was released on his own recognizance after giving a statement.

Gwendolyn Albert, Zdeněk Ryšavý, ryz, TV Nova, TV Prima, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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