A cowardly Moroccan man who believed women should know their place has been jailed for life after shooting dead a German woman of Moroccan roots after having a furious row with her at a fitness studio.
The woman, identified only as Fatima T., 44, because of German privacy laws, was waiting outside a martial arts training hall and fitness studio on the Luisenstrasse street in the city of Offenbach in the central German state of Hesse in her Porsche when she was murdered.
She had been waiting for her son, 13, to finish training in the martial arts school.
A silver Audi pulled up alongside her, and a gunman then fired through a closed window into the Porsche, hitting the woman in the neck. She managed to stagger out of the car as the Audi sped off, but collapsed bleeding heavily on the bonnet where she died.
According to an eyewitness, her son saw his mother collapse after the shooting.
The witness said: “Her son came running from the sports school and cried ‘mummy, mummy’. Then his trainer held him back.”
Despite paramedics arriving quickly at the scene, they were not able to save her life as she died moments later in an ambulance.
A heavily armed SWAT team immediately launched a manhunt for the gunman, but were not able to find him despite raiding a nearby house.
The Audi, a rental car, was found parked a short while away and the driver, later identified as Mohammed Soultana, went on the run with a Europe-wide manhunt launched because he was armed and dangerous and believed to have crossed into Belgium.
Prosecutors said that the woman and the man knew each other vaguely and added that there had been a “major row between the suspect and the 44-year-old woman at a sports studio”.
It was not revealed what the argument was about, and after the shooting her family were put under police protection as the hunt to find him continued, supported by a 3,000-EUR (2,735-GBP) reward.
A lawyer for the family said: “He is an acquaintance of the family, a Moroccan man with sick motives, who is of the opinion that he is the ruler of the world and women have to do whatever he wants.”
Asked about the motive for the murder, he said that there was “something about the way the woman behaved that he simply didn’t like”.
He was eventually caught when he returned to Offenbach four weeks later and turned himself in.
During the subsequent trial at the Darmstadt district court the accused came up with four different versions of the events leading up to the shooting, and had to be given special protection because of what police believed was a risk of a revenge attack on him.
In the end, he was jailed for life. The sentence can still be appealed.
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