A 23-year-old resident of Paiania, eastern Attica, was in custody on Thursday after shooting dead a 43-year-old Albanian man following an alleged attempted burglary at the former?s home, the second in as many months.
According to police, the 43-year-old and two accomplices had broken into at least two residences in Paiania early on Thursday before officers were called to the scene to search the area with the help of local residents.
After police failed to find the suspects, they emerged from hiding and attempted to burgle a third home, according to locals. The owner of the third home fired a gun at the three men, missing them. Then, according to witnesses, the 23-year-old and his brother ran outside — the former wielding a hunting rifle, which he fired at the fleeing robbers. The shots hit the 43-year-old, who died instantly.
According to the lawyer of the 23-year-old, the gun went off accidentally in his client?s hands as he was running.
Local residents and authorities expressed support for the young gunman, noting that it was the second time his home had been broken into by burglars in as many months, and that this time the intruders had threatened his mother with a knife. The deputy mayor of Paiania, Christos Davaris, told Kathimerini that there had been six burglaries in the area in the past two weeks. ?People are scared and are trying to protect themselves,? Davaris said, referring to the growing trend of gun ownership in the area. One resident who preferred to remain anonymous told Kathimerini that some of his neighbors had started patrolling the neighborhood. ?I have a rifle too but I don?t go out hunting,? he said.
The 23-year-old?s father said his son was in shock. ?They broke into our home two months ago and we are all upset,? he told Kathimerini. My son would not harm anyone. He is shocked by what happened,? he said, adding that the weapon was his own.