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A German Police Officer 'Accidentally' Shot an Unarmed Weed Dealer in the Head

The guy died on site.

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A weed dealer was shot in the head by a Bavarian policeman in Burghausen (a city in the South East of Germany) last Friday. According to the officer, he had actually targeted the fugitive's legs but the shot hit the 33-year-old in the back of the head "by mistake". The man died on site, and the officer is now under investigation for manslaughter.

These are the facts as far as laid out by the first police report on the incident. According to that report, the perpetrator and a colleague had been sent to the man's home with an arrest warrant for drug dealing. When the suspect tried to make a run for it, the officer deemed it appropriate to fire a warning shot. Eyewitnesses state that the fugitive did not at any point attack the officers. Why exactly they thought it necessary to fire a warning shot in a busy apartment block’s backyard to stop a petty criminal from running, has not been explained yet. Even a police spokesperson found the decision questionable. According to one newspaper, children may have been playing in the courtyard at the time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the suspect reacted to the warning shot by trying to run faster, whereupon the officer decided to fire a second, this time ill-fated shot. It’s important to note that it's not entirely impossible that the shot ending up in the fugitives head instead of his legs was an accident – anyone who’s shot a pistol knows that it is pretty hard to reliably hit anything without constant practice – but to miss that bad at a distance of five metres [16 ft], the officer must have been a very poor shot indeed. Which makes it all the more questionable that he decided to use his gun at all.   The Süddeutsche newspaper quotes eyewitnesses claiming that the two officers then failed to give the mortally wounded man any kind of first aid. The day after the incident, about 50 relatives, friends and neighbours of the deceased staged a demonstration against police brutality in the neighbourhood — watched over by about a 100 riot police.