The 46-year-old police officer who shot himself after killing his 3-year-old daughter, his wife and his mother-in-law on Monday kneeled or stood in front of the child’s bed for at least an hour before ending his own life, a coroner has found.
Fresh details are emerging as police continue to investigate why their colleague used his service revolver to kill his family and himself, with witness testimony pointing to serious tension between the 46-year-old and his mother-in-law, who lived in the same apartment building as the family of three in the northern Athens suburb of Aghioi Anargyroi.
According to the investigators, the 46-year-old police officer and his 48-year-old wife had been together for several years before getting married in 2012 against the wishes of the woman’s mother, who allegedly thought her doctor daughter was marrying beneath her social station. The relationship was further strained by differences regarding property, and particularly the mother-in-law’s apartment on the floor below the family’s home.
The officer, who was serving in the security detail of former prime minister Costas Simitis, was on two-day holiday leave when the incident occurred. Investigators say he likely pulled out his service revolver when his mother-in-law intervened in an argument he was having with his wife.
An examination of the house and the bodies point to the officer first shooting widly at the living room wall, then at his wife and then at his mother-in-law. He then reportedly went to his daughter’s bedroom and shot the child once in the head before taking his own life, possibly as much as an hour-and-a-half later, the coroner reported. A total of eight shell casing have reportedly been retrieved from the scene.
According to the Hellenic Police (ELAS), the officer had passed his latest mandatory psychiatric evaluation test in 2011 and was found competent to handle a firearm. He was also described by colleagues as being a mild and pleasant man, who would speak to his young daughter several times a day on the telephone.