Criminal Justice

3 slain in attacks at 2 German law firms; suspect, a former client, is in custody

Apparently angry over an adverse ruling in an employment case which he had unsuccessfully sought to appeal, a 48-year-old man fatally attacked three people, including at least two lawyers, and set fire to two German law firms on Friday, authorities say.

Authorities say Yanqing T. stabbed attorney Ulrike F. to death in Düsseldorf on Friday morning and fatally stabbed her colleague, attorney Bernhard L., who tried to help her and died of his injuries on Sunday. Then, at lunchtime Friday, the suspect allegedly arrived at a second law firm, in Erkrath, outside of Düsseldorf. There he is accused of shooting to death Regina H., who has been described both as a paralegal and as an attorney in news reports, and seriously injuring an unidentified colleague of the slain woman, according to the Associated Press, the Local and United Press International.

In accord with German privacy laws, the full last names of those involved were not made public.

The suspect was apprehended later in the day on Friday at a pizzeria in Goch, near the German border with the Netherlands. According to a San Francisco Chronicle article compiled from wire reports (scroll down), he is accused of threatening the pizzeria owner with weapons.

The suspect, who was born in Shanghai and lived in Germany, formerly worked at the pizzeria, according to the Chronicle article.

The underlying employment matter that reportedly sparked the law firm attack concerned his liability for slapping a female boss at the pizzeria in November 2011 and damaging her eardrum, for which he was fined 2,700 Euros, according to the Local.

At last report the suspect was being held pending charges. Prosecutors say he admitted criminal conduct.

The articles don’t include any comment from the suspect or his legal counsel.

We welcome your comments, but please adhere to our comment policy and the ABA Code of Conduct.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.