Pensioner shoots invalid kin, self

A Cretan pensioner was in critical condition in the hospital in Iraklion yesterday, having attempted to kill himself after shooting dead his bedridden wife and severely injuring his handicapped son. Emmanouil Sartzetakis, 74, apparently decided to embark on the shooting spree in despair at having to care for two long-term invalids on his own, according to a suicide note police found in the family home outside the village of Aghios Syllas, some 10 kilometers (6.5 miles) south of Iraklion in central Crete. Reports said Sartzetakis also left cash to cover the expenses of the triple funeral he had envisaged. The pensioner first turned his old Colt pistol on his wife, Georgia, a 74-year-old stroke victim, killing her instantly. He then shot and severely wounded his elder son, Theodoros, a 40-year-old paraplegic, before attempting suicide. Sources quoted by the Athens News Agency said Sartzetakis telephoned his second son, Eftychis – who is able-bodied and lived apart from his parents – to tell him he had decided to put an end to the family’s tribulations.