More than 250 police officers were dispatched to Menidi, northwestern Attica, on Friday evening to determine who fired the stray bullet that killed an 11-year-old boy during an open-air party for schoolchildren on Thursday night.
The boy was rushed to hospital after he collapsed in the schoolyard, with adults at the party believing that he had probably knocked his head after falling over. Staff at the local hospital too were stumped when the boy was brought in, reckoning initially that he had probably died of an aneurysm, sources said.
It was only on Friday, after an autopsy was carried out, that a coroner found the gunshot wound on the boy’s head, prompting police to launch an investigation.
Officers searched five houses in the nearby area as well as a local Roma settlement and briefly detained more than 20 people for questioning. None of the students, parents and teachers interviewed by police said they heard any gunshots.
In comments to Kathimerini, however, one local resident who asked not to be identified said he heard shots being fired into the air from a house about 500 meters away from the school where the party was held. He said that he, and other residents, telephoned the police to complain about the gunshots and about loud music being played, apparently at the same house.
Police had not verified the man’s claims by late Friday night.