Man suspected of shooting child in Istanbul playground arrested

Man suspected of shooting child in Istanbul playground arrested

Aziz Özen - ISTANBUL

A man suspected of shooting a seven-year-old girl playing in a playground in Istanbul last week was arrested on Aug. 28. 

Hira Nur was playing with her friends at Pen Park in Istanbul’s Pendik district on Aug. 21 as Turkey celebrated the Feast of Sacrifice.

According to eyewitnesses, a young man living in a nearby apartment went up to his window and rebuked the children for being too noisy. As the children were leaving, a pistol was shot and Hira Nur was wounded from her back.

Luckily, the bullet stopped only two centimeters to the girl’s lungs. After 12 hours in intensive care, Hira Nur was discharged from the hospital.

The suspect, identified only as B.B., is a young man who recently returned home after completing his compulsory military service. He was detained by the police right after the shooting, but released afterwards after he said he was sleeping at his home at the time of the incident.

On Aug. 28, however, after daily Hürriyet reported the suspect was freed following his interrogation, the man was once again detained by the police and then arrested by a local court.

“My daughter still has a bullet in her back, which would be removed later, but this person is still free. Police didn’t even search his house to find the gun. I’ve learned that he would have been arrested only if my daughter had died or was in a coma,” Hira’s father, Hasan Demircan, told the newspaper before the detention.

Serenay Demircan, the girl’s mother, added that the suspect had argued with the kids in the park in the past, too.

“We didn’t know that he would be so mad. The children who witnessed the shooting say he aimed at them,” she said.