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Wednesday, March 29, 2023

“I shot the boss”: police officer is to be taken into custody today

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In the inspection in Trieben (Liezen district), a police officer shot his commander four times.
Image: APA/Erwin Scheriau
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He was transferred to the Leoben Justice Center on Tuesday evening. During the interrogations, the possible motive became clear: the commander had confronted him about an alleged breach of duty. Then the shots were fired, said Thomas Mühlbacher, head of the Leoben public prosecutor’s office on Wednesday.

Pronouncement for breach of duty

“It was not a real argument, but a calm discussion,” said Mühlbacher. It was about a possible breach of duty, about which the 59-year-old commander had to question his lower-ranking colleague. “An official act should not have been recorded,” confirmed Mühlbacher according to media reports. The conversation remained quiet, then the 46-year-old went out and a little later came back to the commander’s room with his service weapon in a holster.

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The policeman then asked his superior if there was another way to arrange things. “When he denied this, referring to his duties as a supervisor, the accused pulled the gun and fired four shots at the victim, three of which were fatal,” the public prosecutor’s office said on Wednesday evening. The 46-year-old then allowed himself to be arrested without resistance by a colleague who was present, and he is said to have said: “I shot the boss,” says Mühlbacher. The suspect continues to admit that the shot was fired, but has so far refused to provide any further information.

Psychiatric report commissioned

A psychiatric report should provide information about “what was going on in the man at the moment,” Mühlbacher continued. So far, the public prosecutor’s office has not said anything about possible previous abnormalities of the suspect. “But I assume that if there are any, they will be handed over during the investigation.”

A few hours after the crime, the responsible public prosecutor, together with the investigating officers of the LKA Salzburg, two forensic doctors and a weapons expert, carried out an inspection at the crime scene, the public prosecutor’s office further informed in its broadcast. “The subsequent autopsy, which lasted until the early hours of the morning, revealed that the victim died from severe blood loss as a result of multiple gunshot wounds,” the broadcast said.

Was a police officer manic-depressive?

According to unconfirmed media reports, the police officer is said to have been “manic-depressive” and also expressed suicidal thoughts. This is said to have been reported to the authorities. There was also talk of possible gaffes in official acts. In addition, the public prosecutor’s office in Leoben has commissioned a forensic, a toxicological and a forensic report, in which the detailed sequence of events is to be reconstructed in cooperation with the weapons expert on the basis of the secured crime scene traces.

State police director Gerald Ortner commented on the fatal shooting and allegations about the suspect on Wednesday. He joined the executive service in December 2000 and was last assigned to the Trieben police station. “The service authority is not aware of any disciplinary complaints. In his 22 years of service, he has not acted that would have given rise to disciplinary measures. There were no indications whatsoever that would have called into question the suitability for executive service,” it was emphasized. In 2022 there was a complaint about an official act carried out according to the Covid regulations: This was received by the Ombudsman and is being examined. In February 2023, there were investigations by his immediate superior into the suspicion of an official offence.

Internal review planned

“Even if no shortcomings are apparent from the previous internal file contents, I was commissioned with an internal review of all allegations from the population and colleagues in order to clarify them completely and transparently,” Ortner stated. The test will “take some time,” said the state police director. A psychiatric report is commissioned by the public prosecutor’s office in Leoben. This is part of the public prosecutor’s investigation.

Ortner also thought of the deceased, who had only taken over the management of the department a few months ago after having worked there for many years as deputy inspection commander: “He managed the police inspection excellently. In difficult times, you need extraordinary people who take on leadership responsibility The deceased was one of them. I would like to pay my utmost respect to the deceased colleague and offer my sincere condolences to the family,” says Ortner.

Source: Nachrichten

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