He was very proud, the 25-year-old, at the Christopher Street Day meeting last weekend in Münster. "He carried our banner at the demo. He wasn't happier in a long time," recalled Felix Adrian Schäper, chairman of the Trans*Inter*-Münster association, on Friday. A few hours earlier it had become known that the 25-year-old had died. He intervened at the CSD event after anti-queer insults, was knocked down by the mob and now, almost a week later, succumbed to his injuries. "It wasn't the end he deserved," says Schäper.
Also on Friday, the police arrested a suspect, a 20-year-old from Münster. According to the police and public prosecutor's office, at the CSD meeting on August 27, he allegedly insulted several women with the words "lesbian whore" and approached them threateningly. The 25-year-old noticed the situation and asked the man to refrain from insults, it said. But he is said to have struck suddenly, at least once with his fist.
The 25-year-old fell to the ground and unhappily hit his head on the asphalt, said a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office. He was hospitalized, later placed in an induced coma, and died early Friday morning. The body will be autopsied on Monday.
The perpetrator fled. For days, a homicide commission evaluated evidence from witnesses as well as image and video material. The officers found pictures of the alleged perpetrator. A homicide detective finally recognized the suspect on Friday afternoon at the main train station and arrested him.
It is a 20-year-old who lives in Münster. The public prosecutor wants to apply for an arrest warrant for bodily harm resulting in death. The suspect is due to be brought before Saturday. The man has not yet commented on the allegation, said senior public prosecutor Dirk Ollech. The nationality of the man was not initially known. An unknown companion of the man, who is said to have fled with him after the crime, is also being investigated. "He may have been involved in the insults," Ollech said.
Schäper from the Trans*Inter*-Münster club is certain: "It was definitely an anti-queer attack." The 25-year-old was a trans man. And the attacker had previously insulted two lesbian women in a homophobic manner.
The federal government's queer commissioner, Sven Lehmann, said: "In Germany, too, we have a major problem with hatred of queer people. Anti-queer violence is a threat that can be deadly. We all have to stand up to this violence every day. "
"Too many of us are once again reminded by his death that there are parts of society that deny us human dignity," said the Federal Executive of the Lesbian and Gay Association in Germany (LSVD). The crime clearly shows again how urgently action plans against transphobia and homophobia are needed.
NRW Prime Minister Hendrik Wüst (CDU) emphasized that the man had shown civil courage and courage by standing up for others in everyday life. "The fact that he lost his life in the process makes me stunned and sad. We have no place for discrimination and violence. We show zero tolerance for all forms of misanthropy." NRW Equal Opportunities Minister Josefine Paul said that discrimination, hatred, hate speech and violence are still unfortunately everyday experiences for many queer people. "We can never accept that in an open society."
Green Party leader Ricarda Lang said on Twitter: "My thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased. And with all queer people who feel unsafe and threatened when they read such messages. I'm very sorry."
North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul (CDU) thanked the policewoman who courageously confronted the suspect a few hours after the tragic death of the 25-year-old.
According to the city, the flags will be flown at half-mast on all municipal buildings in Münster, and a rally and mourning event should take place on Friday evening. "It concerns us all," said Mayor Markus Lewe (CDU) with a view to the attack. "Our urban society is cosmopolitan and tolerant and will continue to fight to be a safe place for marginalized people." Münster's police chief Alexandra Dorndorf and the Catholic Bishop of Münster, Felix Genn, were also shocked.