German tourist Horst Stewin was driving this rented SUV when he was shot in the head by a stranger in a passing vehicle along Highway 1A west of Calgary in the summer of 2018. (Court exhibit)

Verdict in shooting of German tourist in Alberta

Indigenous youth found guilty

Horst Stewin and his family were enjoying a vacation in Alberta in August 2018. Stewin was celebrating his 60th birthday in the western province as he loved horses and the “western” lifestyle.

After visiting a nearby rodeo, they were driving the rented SUV through the Stoney-Nakoda First Nation territory west of Calgary when a shot was fired from a passing car hitting the man in the head resulting in a crash.

These eight bullet fragments were removed from Horst Stewin’s brain by German doctors three weeks after he was shot. He has been left with permanent injuries (Court Exhibit

Police later accused a then 16 year-old First Nations youth with the act.  Stewin survived but will suffer lifelong injuries of paralysis on his right side, gets confused, and has problems with memory.

In testimony, Stewin’s wife said the shot came from the front passenger seat of the passing car.  Three others in the shooter’s car said it was the youth who was sitting in the back seat who pulled the trigger but none say they saw him do it.

This illegally altered rifle was buried in a wooded area by one of the people who had been in the vehicle with the accused. (Court exhibit)

The Canadian Press reports the youth’s lawyer claimed the Crown failed to prove its case against his client and that the three others had motives to blame the youth for the shooting, since he would face a lesser penalty as a young offender.

The judge ruled today that the Crown had made it’s case and the youth was convicted of aggravated assault and recklessly discharging a firearm.

The indigenous youth, who can’t be named because of his age at the time, had been facing other charges including attempted murder, but these had been withdrawn earlier.

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