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Shot boy still critical

The condition of the eight-year-old boy shot in the head by his own father after his mother demanded a divorce is still critical.

Austrian medics giving a first aid talk at a school managed to save the eight-year-old boy's life after he was shot in the head by his dad while his sister, seven, who'd also been dragged out of a class was forced to watch.

The 37-year-old man who has a record for domestic violence had burst into the school in Sankt Poelten west of Vienna waving the gun - and dragged the boy into the cloakroom where he shot him in the head.

Police spokesman Oberstleutnant Alfred Schueller said police believe that the man wanted to get revenge on his wife. She had recently filed for divorce citing domestic violence. He said that he had recently been banned from entering the family flat where his wife and two children lived.

The man then fled after the school attack but was tracked by his mobile phone - by which point he had already used the gun on himself while still driving and that the car had then crashed on a remote farm road.

The four-man team of medics that had been teaching first aid were able to give the boy immediate first aid less than a minute after the shooting. The boy was given immediate artificial respiration.

His condition was described as critical and he was unconscious when he was taken by ambulance to hospital, but doctors said if the medics had not been on hand then the boy would have died.

A hospital spokesman said: "He is alive but we should not underestimate the seriousness of his condition which is extremely critical."

Local education boss Hermann Helm said child psychologists from a crisis intervention team were at the eight-classroom school to give the children counselling.

Local police spokesman Klaus Preining said that the weapon had been acquired illegally and the man did not have a license for it.

The incident has brought into sharp focus the Austrian privacy laws and data protection laws because despite the families problems with the police being called several times the school had not been notified.

Hermann Helm, President of the local school board for Lower Austria, said: "We knew nothing of the family difficulties. It should be easier for information like this to be passed on."

Vienna Times






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