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CRIME

Man in coma after elderly aunt shot him

A 28-year-old man is in a medically induced coma after his 83-year-old aunt shot him on Sunday after an argument in Pasching, near Linz, which turned violent. The elderly woman shot herself after injuring her nephew, and died from her wounds.

Man in coma after elderly aunt shot him
The scene of the crime in Pasching. Photo: APA/Kerschbaummayr

Police have said they will not be able to question the 28-year-old, who had emergency surgery to save his life, until next week.

Neighbours said the relatives often had loud arguments and there is some suggestion they were arguing over an inheritance.

On Sunday morning, at around 11:30, the aunt and nephew were heard rowing inside their home and shortly afterwards she is believed to have fired a revolver, which she owned legally, at her nephew.

Two bullets hit a door and one hit the 28-year-old in the back. He was able to snatch the revolver from her, run out of the house and throw the gun in a nearby meadow.

However, the 83-year-old followed him, found the weapon, went back into the house and locked herself in. Then she is believed to have shot herself.

The Special Task Force Cobra was alerted and broke down the door to the house. They found the pensioner, covered in blood, sitting at the kitchen table.

She was admitted to the state psychiatric hospital Wagner-Jauregg, where she later succumbed to her severe head injuries. Her nephew was taken to hospital in Linz.

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CRIME

Austrian people smuggler jailed over deaths of Syrians in minivan

An Austrian court on Monday sentenced a people smuggler to seven years in prison over the deaths of two Syrians who suffocated in the crammed minivan he was driving, Austria's news agency reported.

Austrian people smuggler jailed over deaths of Syrians in minivan

The bodies of the two men were discovered last October when Austrian authorities stopped and searched a van at the border with Hungary.

Thirty people in total were crammed in the vehicle, whose driver fled the scene but was later arrested in Latvia and extradited.

The 19-year-old Latvian was found guilty of people smuggling and causing fatal injuries, but was not found guilty of murder, APA reported.

READ MORE: Austrian police warn public about new ‘fake cops’ scam

He said he would accept the verdict, but the prosecution can still appeal it, APA said.

A court spokeswoman could not immediately be reached by AFP. 

Austria’s interior ministry announced in May that police had smashed a group believed to have smuggled tens of thousands of mostly Syrians, including the two found suffocated, from Hungary to Austria.

A total of 205 people suspected to be linked to the group have been arrested in central and eastern Europe, the ministry said.

Those smuggled, including children, were trying to reach western European countries, including Germany and France.

The October discovery of the dead men recalled a dire event in August 2015 when 71 people from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan suffocated in the back of an air-tight van where they had been hidden by people smugglers.

The bodies, including those of three children and a baby, were discovered in Austria but they had died while still on the other side of the border.

Almost four years later, the Hungarian courts sentenced their smugglers to life imprisonment.

The emotion aroused by that tragedy triggered a brief opening of the borders to hundreds of thousands of people wishing to reach Western Europe.

But Austria and other European countries have since fortified borders to stop people smuggling.

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