Another deadly act of violence against a homeless person, again the investigators assume that a minor was the suspected perpetrator and again the murder weapon was probably a knife. A 13-year-old boy is said to have killed a 31-year-old homeless man at the Dortmund harbor. The police and public prosecutor announced this on Friday. A cell phone video shows how the child stabbed the man with a knife, said a spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office.

“According to the investigations carried out and in particular the evaluation of a video, it is clear that the fatal stabs were inflicted on him by one of the underage children,” said investigators. The autopsy revealed that the 31-year-old victim was killed by multiple stab wounds.

After the crime, the police provisionally arrested four suspects on Thursday evening. They were the 13-year-old, another child of the same age and two young people aged 14 and 15. The victim was identified a few hours after the crime as a 31-year-old man who had no known last address. Witnesses saw an argument and called the police.

The four minors fled the scene but were temporarily arrested minutes later. According to the current status of the investigation, it can now be assumed that they “chancefully met the victim at the port”. Before the violent act there was a verbal argument between the victim and the 13-year-old child. The boy then stabbed, as the video shows, prosecutor Henner Kruse told the German Press Agency.

During the altercation, the victim fell into the harbor basin and was able to climb out of the canal using a ladder and call for help. The 31-year-old died at the scene despite resuscitation measures by the emergency doctor. The boy cannot be prosecuted because of his child’s age. The two 13-year-olds were released from police custody after their hearing and handed over to their parents. “The youth welfare office is informed,” said Kruse.

Again it was a knife

A police dog tracked down the suspected murder weapon near the crime scene. A homicide squad began the investigation. According to the information, the young people were represented by a lawyer. They were questioned on Friday. They were subsequently released from police custody. “It is currently not assumed that the child was involved in the crime.” The video showing the crime came from the 14-year-old’s cell phone, said prosecutor Kruse.

Bad memories

Just last fall, a homeless man was allegedly stabbed to death by three young people in Horn-Bad Meinberg in North Rhine-Westphalia. The brutal incident in the Lippe district at the end of October caused horror. The suspected murder weapon was also a knife. Three young people are said to have killed the man not far from Bielefeld and filmed the crime. A 14-year-old and two 15-year-olds were taken into custody.

North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) presented the crime statistics for 2023 just a few days ago. Accordingly, child and juvenile crime in the state increased by 10.8 percent to 95,300 cases. “That has to worry us,” Reul emphasized. 15 percent more children were registered as suspects for violent crimes.

The case of the student Luise has left people stunned to this day. She was murdered with knife wounds in Freudenberg in Siegerland in March 2023. Two girls, aged 12 and 13 at the time, confessed to the crime. In this case too, the two children could not be prosecuted. The investigation was discontinued in autumn 2023.