ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Hussein Daitzik, 17, one of the nine victims of a July 22 shooting in Munich, was buried in his family’s native village near the Greek city of Komotini on Wednesday.
His parents and two siblings – they and Hussein were triplets – attended alongside his 72-year-old grandmother, who lives in the village. The whole village, both Christians and Muslims, turned out.
Officials attending included the minister of the interior, Panayiotis Kourouplis, the Christian Orthodox Bishop of Komotini and the Mufti of Komotini. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sent a wreath.
Hussein’s father said his son died while trying to protect his sister, who was in the line of fire of the German-born, 18-year-old son of Iranian refugees who went on a shooting spree.
“My son and my daughter ran (from the shooter) in different directions, but he changed course and followed her and put his body between (her and the shooter),” Suleiman Daitzik, 51, told The Associated Press. “After Hussein fell down, the killer approached and shot two more bullets to his head.”
Hussein’s sister, Gulfer, was unharmed but “is in a bad psychological condition,” the father said. Their brother, Sunai, was not with them on that fateful day.
The attacker had obsessively researched mass shootings, and authorities said the attack does not appear to be linked to Islamic extremists.
Hussein’s many friends, who had expected him on his annual family vacation this week, have done the same tattoo on their hands: “R.I.P. Hussein 22/7/16.”
“We did the tattoos to remember him. He should have been here these days. We would play and go to the sea,” said 15-year-old Baran Moustafa.
After the burial ceremony, conducted by a local imam outside the family’s house, the men went to another place in the village, where they reminisced about Hussein.