Halloween shooter unmasked as politician
The man who shot a 13-year-old girl in the pelvis on Halloween in Burgenland has been identified as the deputy chairman of a local branch of the right-wing Freedom Party (FPÖ).
FPÖ state party chairman Johann Tschürtz confirmed this was the case and said that the 32-year-old man has been expelled from the party.
He has been remanded in custody as police said there was a danger he could re-offend.
Depending on the outcome of the court case he may be allowed to resume his political functions at a later date.
On October 31st, 13-year-old Caroline B - a promising athlete - was out with a group of friends in Großhöflein when a projectile from a bolt action rifle hit her in the pelvis.
Caroline, a regional champion in the 800m track race, was treated in hospital but discharged after a few days. The projectile has not yet been removed, but luckily did not cause damage to any major blood vessels.
The suspect was arrested on November 1st and claimed that he had been doing target practise with his brother’s rifle, using an aluminium can, a street lamp, and a large stone. He missed the large stone and hit the girl instead.
The Kronen Zeitung newspaper reported that he said that he meant to scare the teenagers, but had never intended to hit them.
His lawyer said that he regretted what had happened and wanted to apologize to the teenager for his reckless behaviour.
The girl’s mother has said she may decide to sue the man in a civil court, depending on the outcome of a report from ballistics experts.