12:47 16 Feb 2024

German police detain three more suspects in murder of 17-year-old Ukrainian basketball player

German police have arrested three more individuals suspected of the murder of 17-year-old Ukrainian basketball player Volodymyr Yermakov.

The detainees include a German of Greek descent and two Syrians, Rubryka reports, citing RND.

"After the violent death of the 17-year-old Ukrainian during a conflict in Oberhausen, the police arrested three more young people," the statement said.

The arrests took place on Friday morning. The detained individuals suspected of the murder are a 14-year-old German of Greek descent from Herne and two Syrians aged 14 and 15 from Gelsenkirchen.

The main suspect remains a 15-year-old German of Turkish descent from Gelsenkirchen, who has been in custody for several days. According to the police, the current state of the investigation indicates that he inflicted fatal stab wounds on the victim.

The motives for the crime are still being clarified. Earlier, the investigation stated that there were "no specific indications of a xenophobic crime." Instead, on Friday, a police spokesperson said that it is currently being investigated whether the suspects frequently used the same tactics during robberies. 

There are grounds to believe that this is not the first time the group has acted in this way, but this time, the situation escalated to the point where one victim died.

Earlier, Rubryka reported that a 17-year-old Ukrainian basketball player, Volodymyr Yermakov, was killed in Düsseldorf in an attack on the evening of February 10, and his friend Artem Kozachenko was admitted to the intensive care unit. They played for the youth team ART Giants (U-19) from Düsseldorf.

According to reports, two young athletes from Ukraine presumably traveled by bus from the CentrO shopping center to the central train station in Oberhausen around 8:00 p.m. There was an altercation with other young people, reportedly provoked by the Ukrainians. The basketball players got off the bus at the central train station to catch a train home to Düsseldorf and were immediately attacked. The young men suffered severe injuries from stab wounds, and Yermakov later died in the hospital during emergency surgery.

The 15-year-old assailant inflicted a total of nine stabs on the chest and abdomen of the two Ukrainians. According to the police, two other young people also suffered severe injuries as a result of the altercation: a 14-year-old Syrian and a 13-year-old German with Lebanese roots.

Initially, the perpetrators fled unnoticed. However, the police quickly identified the attacker based on video footage from the crime scene, who had previously been on the radar of law enforcement for several robberies. He turned out to be a 15-year-old German student of Turkish descent from Gelsenkirchen.

In related news, an unknown man attacked a 15-year-old Ukrainian in the German city of Mettmann. The teenager sustained extensive head injuries, but his life is not in danger.


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