Five months after the fatal shooting of an 18-year-old in Asperg, Baden-Württemberg, the public prosecutor’s office has brought charges against three young men. As the authorities announced, an 18-year-old and two 21-year-olds are to appear before the Stuttgart regional court on suspicion of completed and attempted manslaughter as well as grievous bodily harm.

On April 8th of this year, in the early hours of Holy Saturday, an 18-year-old was shot in a gravel parking lot. A man of the same age was critically injured by gunfire. There is said to have been a brief argument beforehand. It is unclear why the young men met in the parking lot at night. After the shooting, the police assumed there was an unspecified local conflict. The public prosecutor’s office is hoping for clarification in the trial.

The crime in the town of 13,700 residents north of Stuttgart caused horror. “This is a new dimension of violence that I could not have imagined,” said Mayor Christian Eiberger (independent) after the attack on Easter weekend. The crime scene is in the middle of town. There is a school, a kindergarten and a gymnasium with a football field nearby.

Prosecutors believe there was a shooter

The defendants are an 18-year-old German-Turk, a 21-year-old German-Serb and a 21-year-old Serb. The public prosecutor’s office remains tight-lipped about the question of who fired the shots. She assumes there is a shooter. An 18-year-old was killed by several shots from a few meters away, the other was critically injured by shots to the upper body and legs. Both victims are said to have had knives with them.

The accused, who did not shoot, are said to have expected the use of firearms and at least accepted the death of the two 18-year-olds. After the crime, the defendants fled in a vehicle. All three are in custody.

Even before that, there had been repeated incidents of gunfire around the Baden-Württemberg state capital, with several people injured. However, the crime in Asperg should be viewed “in isolation from the serious acts of violence and shootings that have occurred in the Stuttgart region since July 20, 2022,” according to the public prosecutor’s office. The investigations against a 17-year-old and a 27-year-old man have now been discontinued.