Two Albanian men, aged 41 and 44 years old, were shot dead in an execution-style killing by an unknown person late on Sunday at a café in the Athens district of Nea Smyrni.
A 31-year-old woman sitting at a nearby table was also injured by a stray bullet and admitted to Erythros Stavros hospital in Athens.
Another man also sustained minor injuries when he tripped in his attempt to flee the scene and hit his head.
The moment was captured on video:
The incident occurred at 9:30 pm late on Sunday evening in a busy Nea Smyrni square. A man dressed in black and wearing a surgical mask walked up to the victims’ table, took out a pistol, and started shooting at close range.
Victims of the execution in Athens suspects of a criminal ring
The perpetrator fired seven shots in just four seconds, targeting the victims. The 41-year-old died instantly while the 44-year-old died shortly afterward in the hospital.
Attica police are carrying out a preliminary investigation and have attributed the shooting to a settlement of differences. Police officers are checking security cameras in the wider area to see the escape route of the attacker. They are taking statements from eyewitnesses.
Police are also investigating whether the perpetrator had an accomplice. According to law enforcement, if there was an accomplice, he was probably sitting in the café and alerted the killer when the time was right to come in and execute the two men.
According to police sources, one of the victims was known to police as “the collector,” as he was under suspicion of belonging to a criminal ring offering “protection” to several businesses in the area.
According to other information, the two victims were also involved in drug cases.
In May 2021, a 39-year-old retired boxer was shot and killed after a drive-by shooting in southern Athens in what appeared to also have been a mafia-style execution.