Deadly shots by Kusel: Alleged policeman killer is on trial

A police officer and her colleague are shot dead during a check at night.

Deadly shots by Kusel: Alleged policeman killer is on trial

A police officer and her colleague are shot dead during a check at night. The act caused horror at the beginning of the year. The suspected shooter is now on trial. He is no stranger to the authorities.

Attempted murder and two completed murders – these are the charges against the 39-year-old suspected shooter. He is said to have killed a 24-year-old police officer and her 29-year-old colleague with multiple gunshots in late January to cover up poaching. Now, four and a half months later, the trial before the district court of Kaiserslautern begins. For the time being, 14 appointments are planned until September 9th, at which several experts and a large number of witnesses are to appear.

The public prosecutor assumes that the accused was on the night of the crime with a 33-year-old man for hunting poaching in the western Palatinate. The two police officers, who were patrolling in an unmarked vehicle, were taken aback by the van parked on the side of a county road and they got out to be checked.

Surprisingly, according to the prosecution, the 39-year-old then fired a shot from the shotgun "from a short distance in the head" of the police candidate. The woman fell into the street, badly injured and unconscious. According to this, the accused is said to have shot the police commissioner first with a shotgun and then with a hunting rifle. The 29-year-old fired back without hitting the attacker. He made an emergency call with the words "They're shooting." Finally, the accused seriously injured the police officer with several shots and finally fatally hit him in the head.

When the 39-year-old German noticed that the young policewoman was still alive, he fired another shot at the young woman's head with the shotgun, according to the indictment. The two suspects fled and were arrested the next day in nearby Saarland.

The public prosecutor's office accuses the 39-year-old of two murders, "out of greed and to cover up a crime". Among other things, she accuses the 33-year-old of attempting to avoid punishment – ​​he helped to cover up the tracks. Both are also accused of joint nocturnal poaching. Psychiatric reports revealed no evidence of limited criminal responsibility.

The past of the 39-year-old came into the focus of the investigation early on. He was noticed by the authorities, among other things, because of the suspicion of hunting poaching. The public prosecutor's office in Kaiserslautern said: At the time of the crime, the man is said to have made his living mainly through poaching and the sale of the booty. But since April 2020, he has not been allowed to own, buy, or borrow weapons, authorities said. The suspect only had a hunting license until the end of March 2020.

According to the investigation, the wife could have helped the accused. She bought the shotgun in 2021 and bought the rifle in a gun shop in Saarland and owned the guns legally. "The detailed circumstances of how the 39-year-old came into possession of the murder weapons are the subject of an ongoing investigation by the Kaiserslautern public prosecutor's office against the wife for negligent homicide and violation of the Weapons Act," it said. The alleged murder weapons had been secured in Saarland.

The case sparked nationwide outrage. The public interest in the process is correspondingly high. The Rhineland-Palatinate police also evaluate the night of the crime very carefully, Interior Minister Roger Lewentz told SWR. This is important for the future education and training of police officers. Many police officers have the act in the back of their minds in their day-to-day work: "One has certainly become even more careful. One considers the consequences of controls even more carefully," says Lewentz. The Ministry of the Interior must now learn lessons from the fact.

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