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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

EXPLAINED: What to do if you experience online abuse in Austria

Following the suicide of an Austrian doctor who received threats from Covid-19 anti-vaccination activists, the government has now launched a new campaign to help victims of online abuse.

EXPLAINED: What to do if you experience online abuse in Austria

The Austrian medical community was left in shock in July when Lisa-Maria Kellermayr, a local doctor in Seewalchen am Attersee in Upper Austria, took her own life following months of online abuse.

Kellermayr, 36, had been targeted by anti-vaccination activists and Covid-19 conspiracy theorists for her out-spoken support of vaccines, and the abuse even included death threats. 

Her death prompted candlelight vigils and demonstrations in Vienna and the tragic story was picked up by news outlets around the world.

READ MORE: How Austria’s attempt to make vaccines mandatory changed the country

This led to calls for tighter laws against online bullying and the ability for perpetrators to be prosecuted in other EU countries – particularly as at least two of the people who are believed to have targeted Kellermayr are based in Germany, according to the Guardian.

The Austrian People’s Party (ÖVP) has even called for the creation of a special public prosecutor’s office to deal with “hate-on-the-net”, but this has been rejected by prosecutors and other political parties, as reported by ORF.

Instead, the Federal Justice Department has launched a new information campaign, website and hotline to help people dealing with online abuse.

FOR MEMBERS: What happens if you get arrested in Austria?

What is in the new campaign?

Austria’s Justice Minister Alma Zadic (Greens) said they have launched the campaign to raise awareness about the issue and to inform victims about the support available.

Zadic said: “It is important to me that those affected know that they are not alone in this situation and that the judiciary supports them with free psychological and legal process support.”

“You don’t have to cope alone with the extraordinary burdens that criminal proceedings can entail, for example through confrontation with the perpetrators.”

READ ALSO: Austria in shock over doctor’s suicide following anti-vax abuse

Part of the support package is the new website Hilfe bei Gewalt (Help with Violence), which details how to access help from the authorities, as well as secure free legal advice and representation from a lawyer.

The website states the service is for victims of bullying and/or hate online, defamation, stalking, terrorism, incitement, sexual violence and robbery.

The service is designed to be anonymous with options to contact the Justice Department by phone or via a chat box. The website also lists contact details for regional support services in all provinces across Austria. 

The free (kostenlos) hotline for Hilfe bei Gewalt is 0800 112 112.

Useful links

Hilfe bei Gewalt

Austrian Federal Justice Department

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