The traces of smoke found in the case of the two police officers killed in the Kusel district cannot be clearly assigned to the crime.

An expert presented a corresponding report to the district court of Kaiserslautern on Tuesday.

Accordingly, traces of smoke were found on the hands of both Andreas S., who was accused of murder, and the hands of co-defendant Florian V.

However, these did not necessarily indicate that the two had also shot.

As the expert from the State Criminal Police Office of Rhineland-Palatinate explained, traces of gunshot residue are less clear than is often suggested, for example in TV crime thrillers.

Julia Anton

Editor in the “Society & Style” department.

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Smoke is the residue of the muzzle flash of a firearm - including gas, parts of the gun oil and unburned propellant, which escape in a kind of cloud.

Accordingly, smoke can also adhere to people who are in the immediate vicinity when the shot is fired, for example on their clothing.

If the gun is touched again after a shot has been fired, traces of smoke can be detected.

This is even conceivable on the hands of the judge, who had previously inspected the murder weapon and held it in his hand.

The fact that more than twelve hours had elapsed between the crime and the arrest of the two accused, during which both of them said they had taken a shower, actually indicates such a "secondary" transmission of the traces of smoke.

It is therefore not possible to clearly determine which of the two shot the police officers.

While the public prosecutor's office only blames Andreas S. for the shots, he accuses Florian V. of also having shot.

Andreas S. provides information about his CV

The findings from a DNA examination did not contribute to the clarification either.

An investigator found traces of Florian V. in the barrel of the shotgun.

However, she could not say whether this indicates that the thirty-three-year-old was involved in the crime – the traces could also have gotten into the barrel after the crime, for example when cleaning the gun.

"We agree that neither gunshot residue nor DNA will get us anywhere," the prosecutor summed up and spoke of a puzzle that now had to be put together.

While Florian V. remains silent in court, Andreas S. gave some information about his CV the day before.

His father took him hunting when he was a child, and by the age of ten he was already shooting at many animals in the area.

His father died when he was 13 years old.

After that, his acquaintances would have taken him further to hunt.

The thirty-nine-year-old also proudly reported on his hunting equipment, a thermal imaging scope cost around 12,000 euros.

As a weapons expert explained in court on Tuesday, the purchase of this device is prohibited in Germany under the Weapons Act.

When the presiding judge tried it out in the hall to get an idea for himself, Andreas S. wanted to demonstrate to him how precise the device is.

S. wore an FFP-2 mask, he offered: "Shall I stick my tongue out?"