Athens drive-by shooting attributed to criminal turf war


A 45-year-old man was gunned down in the southern Athenian suburb of Palaio Faliro on Wednesday morning in an execution-style attack police are treating as a turf war between rival criminal organizations.

Police said that the victim, who died at the Nikaia General Hospital near Piraeus after being shot several times with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, was a well-known figure of the Athens underworld and his killing is linked to other similar incidents.

Sources close to the investigation say it was a drive-by shooting involving a car and perhaps also a motorcycle waiting for the victim to walk out of his apartment building on the corner of Naiadon and Aiantos streets. The 45-year-old was also armed and shot back at his assailants, the same sources said.

Investigators believe the 45-year-old’s death may have been in retaliation for the executions of Vassilis Stefanakos in January and Giorgos Litsas in April, both well-known criminal figures believed to be working for rival gangs.