Antwerp shooter 'played out computer game'

16th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 May 2006, BRUSSELS — The Antwerp public prosecution office is investigating whether the suspect in the Antwerp racist shootings was re-enacting violent computer games during his rampage last week.

16 May 2006

BRUSSELS — The Antwerp public prosecution office is investigating whether the suspect in the Antwerp racist shootings was re-enacting violent computer games during his rampage last week.

Part of the suspected killer's "punitive expedition" through the city centre resembles scenes from Grand Theft Auto (GTA), currently one of the most popular computer games.

The 18-year-old Hans Van Themsche has been arrested for the shooting death of a 24-year-old Malian au-pair and a two-year-old Flemish girl. A Turkish woman was also severely wounded in the shooting.

A hearing in Antwerp Court will be held later on Tuesday to extend his remand detention on charges of double murder and one count of attempted murder.

Defence lawyer Bart Herman visited his client in the Antwerp Stuivenberg Hospital on Monday and said Van Themsche regrets his actions. "He knows he must pay for what he did and will accept his punishment."

As questions around the murder remain, Van Themsche has claimed he decided to kill immigrants after being bullied by a foreigner at school in Antwerp when he was 13.

His family claims he is a gifted young man, who had social difficulties and was a very private child, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Tuesday.

He is said to have improved while at the Roeselare boarding school where he studied animal care, but was about to be expelled for smoking shortly before the shootings were carried out.

There are also indications Van Themsche was re-enacting scenes from the violent computer game Grand Theft Auto (GTA), in which the player has to buy a gun, commit car jackings and kill Spanish-speaking immigrants.

It has also been confirmed that Van Themsche liked violent computer games, including GTA.

[Copyright Expatica News 2006]

Subject: Belgian news

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