Fatal shooting in Bonn: Doubts about accusation before trial against police officer

Fatal shooting in Bonn : Doubts about accusation before trial against police officer

Before the trial about the fatal shooting of a policeman by a colleague in Bonn police headquarters, the defence attorney speaks of an investigation error. The case will be heard on Thursday.

Starting this Thursday, the case of Julian Rolf, a policeman killed by a colleague, will be tried before the 4th Grand Criminal Chamber at Bonn Regional Court. Before the trial begins, Christoph Arnold, the defendant's attorney, once again pointed out what he considered to be an unfortunate investigation error. This concerns the size of his client.

According to Arnold, the accused 23-year-old is 1.85 metres tall. The investigators, on the other hand, assumed the information on his identity card without further examination. On it only 1.75 metres are noted. The size, however, plays a central role in the scenario assumed by the prosecution.

According to its investigations, the public prosecutor's office assumes that the 23-year-old shot at his colleague with a service weapon prior to shooting training at Bonn police headquarters. He had assumed that he was holding a non-sharp training weapon - a so-called red weapon - in his hands. Because he had to hold the weapon relatively high - the killed person measured 1.95 metres - the almost horizontal channel found during the autopsy was created.

If, on the other hand, the shot – as stated by the accused – had come loose during the examination of his service pistol, which was not properly engaged in the holster, the result would have been a steeper firing angle, according to the prosecution's argument. The 23-year-old would not have had to hold his weapon so high.

Because the difference in size between perpetrator and victim had been reduced from the previously assumed 20 to only ten centimetres, the argument of the prosecution had also collapsed, Arnold thinks. It is a pity that such an investigation error had to occur: Since the size of the accused is of central importance, he believes that at least one remeasurement should have been made.

At the end of November 2019 the two colleagues had practiced all day long with non-sharp weapons at a training session on the premises of the Federal Police in Sankt Augustin. In the afternoon, another training session was scheduled at the Ramersdorf police headquarters – but this time with sharp service weapons. In the corridor of the presidium, a shot was fired from the defendant's weapon. The bullet penetrated the neck of Julian Rolf, who died on December 10 as a result of the injury.

Original text: Leif Kubik
Translation: Mareike Graepel

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