German reporter responds to exchange student shooting


MISSOULA, Mont. - This morning our newsroom was contacted by a reporter with a German newspaper in the town of Hamburg, Diren Dede's hometown.

We spoke with Tim Walther, from the Hamburger Morgenpost, who said he spoke with the family of Dede and they are German citizens of Turkish descent.

Walther told us Dede's sister spoke with the teen via computer just hours before he was shot. Dede told his sister he was going to a bonfire with a friend that evening and that was the last she heard from him.

The next call the family received was one saying Dede had been shot, but without a translator at first it took four tries to get the message across and his younger sister had to take the call.

Walther said, "The people in Hamburg are shocked about the death of Diren. Friends of him opened a bank account to collect money for the family. His soccer teammates at the local club will remember him before a match on Wednesday with a moment of silence. As far as we know, and had contact to the family, they are grieving deeply. One of the sisters of him cried so much that she lost her voice. The mother wasn't in a condition to talk to us. The grandmother was shocked and rushed to a hospital."

Walther added he checked with German authorities who told him Dede had no police record. The family said he was an overall good kid who loved soccer and being in the United States.

The German Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Consulate in San Francisco are involved and helping in any way they can, according to Walther.

The family stated Dede's father will fly to the U.S. Tuesday.