Suspect in murder of 17-year-old Ukrainian basketball player detained in Germany
In Dusseldorf, Germany, on Saturday evening, two Ukrainians were assaulted with a knife. Volodymyr Yermakov passed away in the hospital from the sustained injuries. The police have already arrested the attacker, the investigation is ongoing
Kyiv Basketball Federation informed this on its Facebook page.
"Volodymyr and his friend Artem Kozachenko played for the youth team "ART Giants" (U-19) from Dusseldorf. The day before their next match, they were attacked with knives on the street just for being Ukrainian!" as stated in the report.
The federation added that the entire team spent the night in the hospital with the boys. Unfortunately, doctors were unable to save Volodymyr Yermakov. His friend, Artem Kozachenko, remains in intensive care. There were witnesses at the scene, and the local police are already investigating the attack.
According to German media, the murder took place at the Oberhausen train station.
Photo: Basketball Federation of Kyiv
Volodymyr used to play basketball in Kyiv and played in the children's teams Teivaz and 5T.E.A.M.-DUSSH-12 (born in 2006). As a member of the youth national team of Ukraine (U-16) he played at the 2022 European Championships in Bulgaria.
According to reports from the prosecutor's office and police in Essen, as well as information from Bild, a violent altercation occurred between two groups of young people at a bus stop on Willy-Brandt-Platz in Oberhausen on the evening of February 10.
The disagreement supposedly began on the bus and escalated into a physical fight upon exiting at Willy-Brandt-Platz. Four young individuals sustained serious injuries, likely caused by knives, and the perpetrators fled the crime scene.
Currently, two suspects, aged 14 and 15, from Gelsenkirchen and Herne, are implicated in the case. Initially arrested, a 14-year-old German with Greek roots was later released due to insufficient evidence. Simultaneously, a 15-year-old German with Turkish roots, a known offender, was taken into custody on suspicion of involuntary manslaughter.
The investigation into the incident's circumstances and motives is ongoing.
Ukraine's Foreign Ministry statement
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, through spokesperson Oleh Nikolenko, has expressed keen interest and oversight of the investigation. Consulate general in Dusseldorf has engaged in discussions with Essen police leadership, stressing the urgency of a swift investigation and bringing the perpetrator to justice.
As per available information, the police have apprehended a suspect, and investigations are underway.
Nikolenko additionally mentioned that the consular institution is closely monitoring the treatment of another injured Ukrainian, who is receiving necessary medical care at an Essen hospital. The boy's condition is stable, with no life-threatening concerns.