Man kills wife, three kids and himself ‘in fear of punishment over fake Covid pass’

·2-min read

A man in Germany who killed his wife and three young daughters before taking his own life had feared his children would be taken away after he was caught having faked a vaccination certificate, a prosecutor has said. 

Police found two 40-year-old adults and three girls - aged 10, eight, and four - dead from gunshot wounds in a house in Koenigs Wusterhausen, in Senzig, on Saturday. 

The man – reportedly a teacher at a vocational school – has been named locally as Devid R, his wife as Linda, and their daughters as Leni, Janni and Rubi.

In a handwritten note found by police, the man said he forged a vaccination certificate for his wife. 

His wife’s employer – TH Wildau university, according to the Berliner Kurier newspaper – had found out about the fake certificate, which led him to fear that they would be arrested and that their children would be taken away, prosecutor Gernot Bantleon told Reuters on Tuesday.

It has also been reported that the man had been sacked.

In the letter, the man wrote that his employer “wanted to prosecute him for falsifying vaccination records with the utmost rigour,” Mr Bantleon told Bild newspaper.

Investigators believe the man killed his wife and children and then himself.

It is unclear how he owned a gun since he “didn’t have a license to carry,” Mr Bantleon added.

Police were informed of the deaths by witnesses who had seen lifeless bodies in the house through the windows.

It is not yet known exactly when the family members died, but German media reported that the man was last seen by a neighbour on Friday when he was loading his van. 

Germany has been tightening up restrictions to try to limit a fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Since last month, employees have been required to show they are vaccinated against Covid, recovered from infection, or are testing negative for the virus.

German authorities agreed last week to bar unvaccinated people from accessing all but the most essential businesses such as food shops and pharmacies.

As the German government plans to make vaccination mandatory for certain jobs, the country has seen an increase in fake vaccination certificates on the black market.

It was reported last month by German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that more than 2,500 fake certificates were reported to 11 out of 16 state police departments.

Germany issues paper vaccination certificates, which show QR codes that are then scanned to show proof of vaccination in the country’s coronavirus trace and track app.

The newspaper’s investigation found that the fake certificates were being sold for about £170 on the internet.

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