Weapons authority could not have prevented the amoktate
A few weeks before Philipp F.’s killing spree in Hamburg, the weapons authorities were informed of the sport shooter’s psychological problems – anonymously. She visits the 35-year-old, but sees no reason to take his gun away from him. The question now: Did you do everything right?
Hamburg (dpa/lno). The Hamburg police and the interior authority see no misconduct by the weapons authority in the review of the later amok shooter Philipp F. Interior Senator Andy Grote (SPD) and Police President Hans Martin Meyer referred to previous findings of a police investigation group and the technical supervision of the interior authority. According to this, the 35-year-old marksman was checked closely against the legal requirements and according to the usual standards after an anonymous tip a few weeks before the crime.
On March 9, after a community meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Hamburg-Alsterdorf, Philipp F. killed seven people – including an unborn girl – and finally himself with a semi-automatic pistol. For four and a half hours on Thursday evening, the interior committee dealt with the status of the investigation.
Even if a book written by Philipp F., with which the anonymous whistleblower wanted to prove the mental disorder of the later perpetrator, had been evaluated by the weapons authority, the crime could not have been prevented, said Meyer. Because even if one had come to the conclusion to request a professional psychological report, the 35-year-old could not have been immediately deprived of his weapon. According to the interim report of the test group, “as things stand at present, no legal accusation can be made against the employees of the weapons authority,” said Meyer.
If you ask yourself whether the crime could have been prevented if the weapons authorities had acted differently, “then with the knowledge we have today, we have to say: probably not,” said Grote. The review of the sport shooter corresponded to the standard. But “with the knowledge of today: That was not enough.” In the future, such indications should be investigated more deeply. A Google search is not enough. For this reason, experts from the State Criminal Police Office are to be consulted in Hamburg in future in similar cases for so-called Osint research.
The extremism researcher Peter Neumann from London’s King’s College presented his report, which he had prepared on behalf of the Hamburg police on the book written by F. “The truth about God, Jesus Christ and Satan”. He could not classify Philipp F. as an extremist, he said. “It’s a pretty confused book to me, I couldn’t identify an extremist ideology to describe.”
The hatred of the author, who had turned away from Jehovah’s Witnesses, is not specifically directed at this religious community. Jehovah’s Witnesses were not even mentioned. “I read this book and say, this is someone who hates Christian religious communities.” However, there is no call for violence in the book. “I can tell you with certainty, this is not a terrorist manifesto,” Neumann said.
The head of the Hamburg State Criminal Police Office, Jan Hieber, described the gunman as suffering from a severe personality disorder. As early as 2021, the father called the social psychiatric service in Hamburg and said that his son heard voices and wanted to kill himself. After a conversation with the son, however, no further measures were found necessary.
As early as 2019, the environment of the later perpetrator noticed a change in character after Philipp F. ended his relationship and lost his job, said Hieber. He then contacted doctors himself “to get his mental problems under control” and had meanwhile also been in inpatient treatment in Bavaria.
When he announced in 2021 that he wanted to heal himself, the father decided to turn on the official health service.
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