Authorities launched an investigation Tuesday after a suspected migrant smuggler from Turkey was shot dead during an operation by the Greek coast guard off the island of Kos in the southeastern Aegean.
The predawn incident occurred after the 29-year-old victim dropped off seven Syrian migrants on the island, the coast guard said in a statement.
Sources told Kathimerini that the smuggler ignored signals by the Greek authorities to stop. He then tried to ram the coast guard’s boat with his vessel four times, prompting the three coast guard officers, two men and a woman, to fire around 150 warning shots.
“Warning shots were fired in a safe area toward the speedboat’s engine and as a result the smuggler was fatally injured, possibly by a bullet ricochet,” the statement said. The man was taken to Kos hospital where doctors confirmed his death from a major wound to his neck.
The Syrian migrants were arrested.