UK & World News
Jeweller Charged After Shooting Robber In Back
A French jeweller who shot dead a teenager after being held at gunpoint during a robbery is under house arrest at a secret location after being charged with murder.
Stephan Turk, 67, shot the 18-year-old victim in the back as he and another robber were fleeing on a scooter with gems stolen from Turk's shop in the centre of Nice on the French Riviera.
The thieves had punched and kicked the jeweller before forcing him to open his safe at gunpoint.
He ran after them and fired three shots as they sped away.
After a court hearing on Friday, Turk was charged with murder and released from custody on condition that he stays at an agreed residence and wears an electronic tag.
"Armed, aggressive thugs attacked me," Turk said in a brief statement to French television.
"I regret what happened, I regret that he is dead. But it is him who decided to do what he did. It is normal that I would defend myself."
If convicted of voluntary homicide, the jeweller could spend the rest of his life in prison, and his fate has triggered a national debate over what constitutes reasonable self-defence.
By Saturday morning, a Facebook page set up in Turk's support had attracted nearly a million "likes".
French law allows for killers to escape conviction for murder if they can show they acted in "legitimate defence".
The jeweller reportedly told magistrates that he had fired his first two shots with the intention of demobilising the scooter and a third one in response to his victim threatening to shoot at him with a rifle.
The dead youth, identified only by his first name, Anthony, had a string of convictions for theft, assault and driving offences.
"It is true that he did a lot of stupid things," his father told local newspaper Nice Matin. "He was a little delinquent, a scooter thief. But he had the face of a child and no child should have to die like that.
"I'm not defending what my son did, but, there, he has been shot like a pigeon."