Concert killer was neo-Nazi 'Blood and Honour' member
The Local · 24 May 2016, 10:19
Published: 24 May 2016 10:19 GMT+02:00
- Austrian gunman may have been right-wing extremist (23 May 16)
- Three die in gun rampage in western Austria (22 May 16)
The far-right have been gaining in popularity in Austria after mass immigration and the country almost voted in a far-right president Norbert Hofer who was only narrowly defeated in yesterday's election.
Police have released further details yesterday of the killings that happened in a field on the outskirts of the town of Nenzing in the western Austrian state of Vorarlberg.
The 27-year-old fired more than 40 shots into the crowd of concert-goers, and then ran to a car park where he killed himself.
The concert had been organised by the local motorbike club "The Lords" to celebrate its 30th anniversary, and the lone gunmen, whose identity was confirmed by police as Gregor S., had turned up with his new girlfriend.
According to police, he had been a member of Blood and Honour since he was 17, but people who knew him hoped that his new relationship, which included a baby with his girlfriend, had mellowed him.
However after arguing with her at the concert, he went home where his son was sleeping, grabbed the gun, and returned to the concert where he opened fire on other concert-goers at 3am.
Eyewitnesses said people who had escaped the bullets ran screaming into the nearby woods, while others ran onto the motorway and tried to flag down cars to get away. The injured and the dead were left behind on the ground. In total about 150 people were at the concert at the time of the shooting.
Police say that the young woman, who had an on-off relationship with her skinhead boyfriend, had been to a hen party with friends and had argued about what she had been up to when they met again at the concert.
One of the people the boyfriend shot and who died instantly was a 48-year-old social worker, and another was a 33-year-old member of the biker club. The injured include a 49-year-old Swiss woman and a 44-year-old man from Lichtenstein.
Police spokesman Susanne Dilp said: "Some of the 11 injured are still in a critical condition, although two have since been released from hospital."
Gregor S. was described by school friends as a Nazi, and in 2005 was banned from owning guns. A short while later he was convicted of GBH and of making threats. In 2012 he was committed to a psychiatric institute.
Regional governor Markus Wallner described the killings as a massive tragedy, saying that what had happened was almost inconceivable.
Local mayor Florian Kasseroler said: "It was not very well lit, there were fires and a few cars had their lights switched on." He said this may have limited the gunmen's opportunity to target his victims before killing himself.
He added that people had initially thought that fireworks were being let off when they heard the shots.
Story courtesy of Central European News.