BERLIN (AP) — Onlookers apparently shouted “Jump!” before a teenage migrant leapt from an apartment block in an eastern German town, killing himself, the town’s mayor said Saturday.
Regional broadcaster MDR reports that police and fire officers in Schmoelln had tried to persuade the 15-year-old boy, registered as Somali, not to jump on Friday from the apartment building where he lived.
“There is information that some … onlookers spent a long time watching this incident and there were apparently shouts like ‘Go on, jump!'” Schmoelln Mayor Sven Schrade said.
“One can only condemn something like this,” Schrade added. “If someone takes it as an experience like a movie and then thinks they have to shout encouragement, too, that’s an unbelievable act.”
Another local official, Matthias Bergmann, said some people apparently took photos from nearby balconies as the tragedy unfolded, MDR reported.
The broadcaster said the boy had been living in the area since April and spent a week at a psychiatric clinic being treated for depression before he returned Friday to the apartment he shared in Schmoelln with other young migrants.
An estimated 890,000 migrants and refugees arrived in Germany last year, and anti-migrant sentiment has grown amid the influx.