Police suspect gunmen picked Golden Dawn victims specifically

The three victims of the gunmen who opened fire outside Golden Dawn’s offices in northern Athens, killing two of the far-right party’s members, were not chosen by chance, police sources told Kathimerini on Tuesday.

A senior officer said that the two attackers, one of whom fired a total of 13 shots on Friday night, intended to target members from the Neo Iraklio office as it was Golden Dawn’s second most influential “cell” after the one in Nikaia, southern Athens. Several members of the latter cell, including MP Yiannis Lagos, were arrested following the murder of Pavlos Fyssas by another member, Giorgos Roupakias.

Members of the Neo Iraklio cell, which oversaw Golden Dawn’s activity in northern Athens, were linked to attacks on immigrants, some taking place on Irakliou Avenue, the same road where the neo-Nazi party’s offices are located. In February, a 20-year-old man from northern Athens who had links to the Neo Iraklio cell was arrested on suspicion of carrying out the attacks. Police sought eight others who allegedly took part.

Sources said that Giorgos Fountoulis, who was killed on Friday, and Alexandros Gerontas, who was injured, were known in the area in as Golden Dawn members and this is likely to have marked them as targets. Police also believe that the assailants had monitored Golden Dawn’s offices closely as Fountoulis, Gerontas and the third victim, Manolis Kapelonis, were always assigned guard duties together.

The police made public on Tuesday security camera footage of Friday’s attack. The grainy CCTV film shows the two assailants passing the building on their motorcycle, which they parked some 50 meters away, and then returning on foot to shoot their victims from a short distance. Although both men were armed, only one of the two fired his gun, identified as a Zastava pistol.

Police said the were releasing the video to encourage more witnesses to come forward.

A little later, a second but much more graphic video was posted on the website. It showed in much clearer detail the gunman firing at his victims from almost point-blank range and shooting Kapelonis and Fountoulis in the head. The footage shows one of the two men, it is not clear which, rooted to the spot, presumably due to fear, and not taking any action to protect himself. Police sources said that the video, which was reposted on numerous news websites and shown by some channels on their evening news programs, was given to by Golden Dawn.

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