Cologne: How alarm pistols can become a deadly danger

A forensic doctor testified on Thursday during a hearing at the Cologne district court what damage alarm guns can cause. The accused here is a 44-year-old who shot around with blank cartridges in a doctor’s practice on Neumarkt, terrifying the doctor, office hours assistant and other patients.

Blank gun suitable for killing people

In principle, the weapon that was used in the act last May was also suitable for killing a person, explained the expert Dr. Thomas Kamphausen. “A shot to the head, chest or neck can be fatal,” said the doctor. Although no projectile emerges, the resulting gas jet can cause immense tissue damage.

Such pistols are designed to look deceptively real, said the doctor, while he was holding the seized weapon from a manufacturer in the Sauerland in his hand. When the judge asked how many shots one could fire with it, the witness filled the magazine with ammunition. This resulted in 15 rounds, but there could still be a cartridge in the barrel.

A volume of 130 decibels is enough for pop trauma

Dr. Kamphausen, who is privately also a hunter and marksman, should testify in particular to the extent to which the alarm pistol can cause hearing damage. This was determined by an ear, nose and throat doctor at the affected office hours after the offender, herself a patient in the practice, shot her up to seven times from a short distance.

For a pop trauma, a volume of 130 decibels is enough, according to the doctor. In tests with comparable weapons at the Institute for Forensic Medicine, a volume of 160 decibels was measured even at a distance of around two meters from the weapon. This could prove the original charge of dangerous and not just simple bodily harm.

The client was not aware of the danger

Defense attorney Ingo Lindemann again stated that his client was not aware of the danger to the ears from the resulting bang, which meant that deliberate bodily harm could be excluded. Accordingly, only the threat remains as a charge. The woman, who suffers from schizophrenia, is said to have said after the shooting: “That was just a test today.”

Defense attorney Ingo Lindemann with the accused and a constable in the Cologne district court.

At the insistence of Judge Peter Sommer, the office hours assistant did not testify (read more here)because she may be bound by medical confidentiality. Her boss does not want to release her from it, even though the psychiatrist herself had testified. Apparently not out of fear of criminal consequences, but out of concern, as the employee could be retraumatized on the witness stand.

Source: Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger – Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger by

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