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The End of A Quiet Life: Greek Veterinary Student, 24, Shoots Dead Albanian Burglar, 45

 This is not the plot of a movie thriller. This is a real story that occurred in the early morning hours of Thursday in the village of Paiania, 50 kilometers East of Athens. Two robbers approached a house in the village. The resident took notice of them, turned on the lights and called the police that arrived immediately while the burglars fled. Together with other residents armed with hunting rifles, the police tried to locate the criminals.

There were hiding just a couple of hundred meters away in a nearby hill. When the search action ended, the residents went home and th epolicemen returned to the station.

However almost an hour later the two burglars broke into another home of the neighborhood. They put a knife at the neck of a woman. Her two sons woke up from the noise, the 24-year-old grabbed his hunting rifle.

The burglars fled with the two sons chasing them. A couple of meters away from the house, the fatal shot:  one of the burglar, 45, was dropping dead shot by the young man’s rifle. The veterinary student, who was had a license for the rifle as he is a hunter, was detained by the police. Together with the second burglar, who was unharmed.

The man’s lawyer told Greek media, that his client was devastated by the incident and that he had absolutely no intention to shoot and kill the thief on the run. “He accidentally pressed the trigger and the gun went off,” the lawyer said.

 “He was a quiet young man,” said the student’s neighbors who fully stand by him and even plan a solidarity demonstration.

The veterinary university student will be charged with homicide.  

According to police, the two burglars – two bothers – had entered Greece from Albania just three days ago.

Residents Complain about Increasing Crime

The residents complained about the increasing crime in their village and said “it was a matter of time” that such a thing would occur. There is not a single house in the area where burglars had not broke in, say the residents, stressing that there is not police units patrolling at night.

“We cannot go out, we cannot sleep at night” said a resident adding that “burglars had broke into his home twice.”

Another resident, a woman, said that her family members sleep on shifts, with one member always awake to keep an eye for burglars. 

“We are hostages in our own village” said another resident claiming about the crime increase of the last months.

“We should not reach such conditions: neither I have to kill nor that the burglar has to steal,” said another.

It is the second time in less than a month that a Greek citizen takes the law into his own hands. Last month, a businessman  shot and killed a Romanian burglar in Lakonia area of Peloponnese.

Greece seems to have been surrendered to local and foreign criminal gangs with the police being mostly not in position to protect the citizens. Lack of personnel, lack of means? Nobody can tell exactly.

PS One should not wonder about the rise of extreme-right Chrysi Avgi that organizes street patrols and even offer protection to seniors by taking them to the bank or purchase shopping for them in certain neighborhoods of Athens…




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  1. Important safety tip. If you live in this village and are a foreigner, don’t go jogging at night.

  2. To me it does not seem to be a joke but rather a satirical take on how desperate people will become and could end up shooting an innocent person who they deem to be a criminal based on his foreign roots.

    The same thing has happened in the US where people assume that if a black person is out at night in a white area that he must be up to no good. Racism is rampant in Greece, and although I sympathize with the student that he must have been crazed after seeing someone rob his house etc, that does not give him or ANYONE the right to shoot and kill a fleeing subject. That is what we have the police for I thought??

    Vigilantism is also a sickness and if it takes over in Greece, who regulates these angry people and their justification over who was guilty or not.

    Google Trayon Martin USA and see what happens when vigilantism runs wild.

    I hope that my disagreeing with you won’t be taken as troll. If so, let me know and I won’t post again.

  3. The boy was protecting his mother who could have been killed by this burglar – he was not intending to shoot him. Understand the charges of homicide after all he took a man’s life but under these circumstances what could he do? Feel really sorry for him and his family.

  4. Jackie, Yes, and we should also feel sorry for the family of the man killed I would say as he too probably has a mother and father right?

    • They’re probably sad, but I don’t think they’re proud of him. No crocodile’s tears, pls. I can be a bleeding heart liberal sometimes, too, but not for armed robbers who stupidly return after having been chased away, only to threaten an elderly lady at knife point. Like I wrote recently, tolerance has its limits.

  5. TO GRAY FROM GERMANY: Are you out there? I respect your opinion and it seems you usually only comment on financial issues regarding Greece, but curious to know your take on this issue regarding the concern of Greeks that foreigners are committing crimes vs the concern of foreigners of being targeted for racism by this perception.

    • See my comment above. Sorry if I disappointed you. I’m a liberal alright, and I even would make a stand for a thief’s right not to be killed, but armed robbery is a different matter. Those guys brought a knife to a gunfight and lost. Better than the other way round.

      • Hi Gray, no you didn’t disappoint me at all. I agree with you on the point that the guy was guilty for attempting robbery, but my point was more on the issue that other foreigners could be targeted for attacks based on this when they may not have done anything. Case in point, 2 Polish guys attacked recently randomly. This was my question, should the perception that only foreigners are doing crime persist? So, no Greeks are committing crimes?

        • I don’t see the fact that the offenders were Albanian as the central issue in this case, Moe. I’m sure there are some Greek criminals who aren’t any better, too. But I don’t know any statistical data that shows the extent of crimes committed by immigrants vs. those by “natives”, so imho it’s rather pointless to discuss this.

          Generally, I’m for limited and regulated legal migration, legal (and preferrably temporary) asylum for people who flee from political and racial suppression, and rather against illegals. It should be obvious to everyone that Greece can’t be the new home for everyone in the Middle East who seeks a better future, and the EU can’t play that role for the rest of the world. The goal has to be to discourage migration, by improving the economic conditions in third world countries (with policies like “fair trade”, for instance). In the meantime, the EU should do more to help the border nations like Greece to stem against the tide of the illegals. That’s in the common European interest, so countries like Greece shouldn’t be left with the bill for that endeavour. Only fair.

          • keeptalkinggreece

            I saw some statistics on this issue this morning on TV, will try to post them later.

  6. quiet, not quite.
    There is a typo in the title and in the middle of the article.

    Apart fom this, I feel sorry for this student.
    Legitimate difense should be legalized in Greek penal code
    because I really believe that one thing is
    to go for undiscrimined raids against immigrants
    in their shelters like in Patras
    and another thing is to shoot a thief in your property

  7. wtf homicide? that was self defense! you know what these albanians do to women hostages !!

    • Homicide or self defense – What I read about this in this post (didn’t have the time nor the will to read every Greek media report and listen to all the tv-reports) it looks like the thief came from Albanian territory. It never stated that he was Albanian. Heck, he could even be a Greek from Albania.
      Second: The woman was not a hostage anymore, so what Albanians allegedly do to hostages is not important anymore.
      Third: The thief was armed with a knife. The thief was fleeing. The son with the gun was chasing. Then it is important to know what happened next. If the thief turned and faced the armed son with his knife there is no homicide. If the thief turned but had thrown away his knife, there might be homicide. If the thief ran away and was shot in the back we almost certain to have a case of homicide here. Only chance is that he really stumbled. It happens.
      But in any case the police did it’s duty to arrest the son on suspicion of homicide and now they have to find out what really happened.