Man gets 10 years, psych treatment for randomly shooting Groningen student

A 21-year-old student is permanently paralyzed from the waist down after a random shooting on Korreweg in Groningen, 15 Oct 2017
A 21-year-old student is permanently paralyzed from the waist down after a random shooting on Korreweg in Groningen, 15 Oct 2017. (Photo: Opsporing Verzocht )

The court sentenced 21-year-old Azim A. to 10 years in prison and institutionalized psychiatric treatment for randomly shooting a student in the city of Groningen last year. He was convicted of attempted manslaughter. The student, Sidney Ruiter, survived the shooting, but is permanently paralyzed, RTL Nieuws reports.

The Public Prosecutor demanded 12 years in prison and institutionalized psychiatric treatment for attempted murder against A. But the court ruled that it can not be proven that A. had a premeditated plan to kill Sidney, and therefore convicted him of attempted manslaughter. 

In October last year Sidney was cycling home after having a few drinks with friends. On Korreweg he came across three guys, including A. They shouted whether he wanted to go get a drink, and he stopped to be polite. The three men surrounded him and started to beat him up. Azim A. fired five gun shots. Three of the bullets hit the student. Sidney sustained permanent paraplegia and will be bound to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. 

One of the other two suspects stated that A. enjoyed the shooting. "As if I shot a bird out of the sky", he said afterwards. 

The Groningen student used his right as victim to speak at the trial. "What I have left in life is a hopeless view of annual hospital visits. No prospect of healing. Not being able to decide for myself when and how I do something. Being dependent on others. Others who decide when I get up, go to the toilet and go back to bed." He said that he often asks himself: "Was there something I could have done to prevent me from sitting here as a paraplegic?" But his answer is always "no", he didn't stand a chance against A. and his friends, he said. 

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