1. Skip to content
  2. Skip to main menu
  3. Skip to more DW sites

Berlin police probe 'execution-style' killing in park

August 25, 2019

A 40-year-old Georgian man was shot to death in a Berlin park by a man on a bicycle. Police have arrested a Russian national over the killing, but authorities are still trying to determine the motive behind the attack.

Criminal investigators secure the scene where a 40-year-old man was fatally shot at a park in Berlin, Germany
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/C. Soeder

Police in Berlin ramped up investigations on Sunday into the death of a 40-year-old man from Georgia who was shot in broad daylight at a park in the German capital.

The deadly shooting occurred around noon on Friday at the Kleiner Tiergarten park in the Berlin neighborhood of Moabit.

An eyewitness told the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper that the attack looked like an "execution-style" killing.

A suspect approached the victim from behind, shooting him twice in the head before fleeing on his bicycle, the witness said.

Police divers later recovered a handgun and the bicycle from the nearby Spree River, according to news agency dpa.

Shortly after the incident, police arrested a 49-year-old suspect from Russia in connection with the attack. Berlin prosecutors said that an arrest warrant was issued against the man on charges of "insidious murder" and that he is in pretrial detention.

Read more: Berlin's Sonnenallee: Is Germany's best-known crime scene all that bad?

A police diver searches the Spree River looking for evidence from a fatal shooting at a park in Berlin, Germany
Police divers retrieved a pistol and bike that the suspect allegedly discarded in the Spree River following the attackImage: picture-alliance/dpa/P. Zinken

Questions about victim's background

Authorities have not released many details about the backgrounds of either the victim or the suspect in the case and have not commented on a possible motive for the attack.

German media reported that the victim was a veteran of the Second Chechen War, which took place from 1999– 2009, who later joined an anti-terrorist unit in Georgia.

According to information from public broadcaster WDR, German security agencies had listed the 40-year-old victim as a potential militant Islamist, but he was later removed from the list last year after authorities determined he did not pose an acute threat.

The man was reportedly an asylum-seeker who was slated for deportation but had appealed the decision, saying there had been multiple attempts on his life — most recently in Georgia in May 2015.

rs/tj   (AFP, dpa)

Each evening at 1830 UTC, DW's editors send out a selection of the day's hard news and quality feature journalism. You can sign up to receive it directly here.