"Van Themsche calm when buying gun"

3rd October 2007, Comments 0 comments

3 October 2007, BRUSSELS - Hans Van Themsche appeared to be calm and collected when he purchased the murder weapon on the morning of the crimes. Gun dealer Benoit Lang thought that the accused had just turned 18 and that he was witnessing a boyhood dream realised with the purchase of his first weapon. A search of the defendant's house however proved that he already had an arsenal at home.

3 October 2007

BRUSSELS - Hans Van Themsche appeared to be calm and collected when he purchased the murder weapon on the morning of the crimes. Gun dealer Benoit Lang thought that the accused had just turned 18 and that he was witnessing a boyhood dream realised with the purchase of his first weapon. A search of the defendant's house however proved that he already had an arsenal at home.

Van Themsche entered the Lang weapon shop on the Lombardenvest in Antwerp on 11 May 2006 at about 9.45 am. "He wanted to know what weapons could still be bought freely," said Benoit Lang. The shop owner says the defendant came across as calm and mature. Lang wasn't alarmed by his outfit or shaved head. "There are countless people in Antwerp like that."

He showed Van Themsche a number of weapons, including a ‘Marlin' hunting rifle, which the gun dealer says is a popular brand. The defendant was interested in the gun, but had to get money from the cash machine first. He then took the bus to the Dexia branch on the Kleine Steenweg in Wilrijk and withdrew EUR 750 from his account.

At about 11 am he returned to the shop and bought the Marlin rifle. Lang explained how to use the gun and did the necessary paperwork. Van Themsche wanted to buy ammunition right away as well. The only cartridges Lang had on hand for the particular rifle were ones usually used for target practice or big game.

"They are cartridges that burst open once they enter the body. They make a small entry wound but a large exit wound. They are intended to hit as many vital points as possible, so that the animal dies quickly," Lang explained.

President of the court Michel Jordens wanted to know if Lang had asked the defendant what he needed the gun for. "No, I thought maybe he'd just turned 18 and that he was now finally old enough to buy a gun."

A search of Van Themsche's house turned up a whole host of weapons however.

The next series of witnesses to be heard are those who saw Van Themsche walking with the gun on the day of the murders and those who saw the shootings.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news

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