Turkish groom denies killing three relatives at wedding
HDN | 8/9/2010 12:00:00 AM | ISTANBUL - Daily News with wires
A groom accused of accidentally killing three relatives at his wedding while shooting an assault rifle in celebration has denied the allegations.
A groom accused of accidentally killing three relatives at his wedding when he fired into the air with an assault rifle in celebration has denied the allegations, news agencies reported Monday.
Eight other relatives were wounded in the incident, which took place Sunday in Akçagöze, a village of Şehitkamil district in the southeastern province of Gaziantep.
The groom’s father, his aunt and his aunt’s daughter were all killed, the Anatolia news agency reported.
The incident reportedly occurred when the bride and groom arrived at the wedding ceremony. Groom Tevfik Altun, 25, allegedly tried to fire an AK-47 rifle into the air in an attempt to celebrate the wedding, but lost control of the weapon, firing into the crowd.
Altun and his brother Turgay Altun, 17, reportedly ran away following the shooting, but were later found by the gendarmerie in the house where they had been hiding. The groom denied the accusations as his brother took the blame, claiming he had been the one who fired the assault rifle.
The groom’s father, Arif Altun, aunt Münire Köseoğlu and cousin Yasemin Köseoğlu were buried in the village cemetery, Anatolia reported.
Injured victims had been taken the Gaziantep 25 Aralık Public Hospital, the Şehitkamil Public Hospital and to the Special Primer Hospital. İsminur Çıplak and Mehmet Altun were seriously wounded and their lives may still be at risk, the Doğan news agency reported.
Police officers took control of the emergency entrances into the hospitals and tried to calm family members to prevent an escalation of the situation. Videos and photographs of the wedding festivities have been seized as part of the ongoing investigation into the incident.
The common practice in Turkey of shooting off guns at weddings has caused many deaths over the years.