It almost sounds like a rush. They strike again and again, that’s how the public prosecutor describes it. According to the indictment, they kick their already unconscious victim and one of them jumps on the bleeding man’s head. Until they are dragged away by the half-shattered body. It becomes clear that the five men want revenge. Because just a few minutes earlier, the now helpless victim, as part of a rival group, is said to have hurled a hand grenade at the rival mourning community, 15 people were injured, and an even greater bloodbath could only be prevented with a lot of luck.

Climax of the gang feud

The bloody incident on June 9th in the Neckar Valley is considered the high point of a gang rivalry that has kept the police around Stuttgart on tenterhooks for months. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the suspected grenade thrower belongs to a group from the Stuttgart-Zuffenhausen and Göppingen area. According to investigators, the mourning community and the five men now on trial are close to another group from the Esslingen area.

The security precautions at the start of the trial are enormous, with dozens of police officers on duty on Thursday. Smiling, the five men between the ages of 19 and 21 enter the meeting room of the youth chamber in the Stuttgart regional court, one of them gives a thumbs up to friends and relatives sitting in the rows of visitors. The allegations are serious: attempted homicide, grievous bodily harm, illegal possession of weapons – at the end of the trial, which lasts several months, prison sentences lasting several years are by no means out of the question.

Enormous brutality

The brutality with which the men, according to the prosecution, caught and beat up the alleged hand grenade thrower while he was trying to escape is immense: They dragged the 23-year-old, who himself has been on trial for attempted murder since last Thursday, out of the taxi that was already moving, They throw the Iranian to the ground, kick him and hit him again and again, as the prosecutor quotes from the indictment. One of them jumped on his head with full force, another “jumped and kicked the victim’s face with his shoed foot so hard that his shoe burst,” the prosecutor continued.

The indictment leaves out few details of what investigators have gathered. According to this, the men stopped briefly when they heard sirens, but they are said to have beaten their victim again when they realized that it was not the expected police, but the ambulance that was coming. And even the paramedics can’t help at first, but have to protect themselves from the angry group and barricade themselves in the ambulance.

The critically injured man was flown to hospital with a severe traumatic brain injury, a broken jaw and broken ribs. The prosecutor accuses the five young men – two of German, two of Turkish and one of Georgian nationality – of condoning the death of the alleged grenade thrower in their violent frenzy.

Little prospect of an end to the violence

There are no signs of peace between the gangs, on the contrary: When the five accused men are brought out of the regional court one after the other in police cars, around two dozen young men waiting in front of the building applaud them, closely secured by police officers.