German tourist shot in head near Calgary still requires 24/7 care

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A German tourist, who visited Alberta to celebrate his 60th birthday, still requires 24/7 care and likely will never work again, says the Honorary German Consulate in Calgary.

Horst Stewin, 60, was randomly shot in the head on an Alberta highway this summer.

« He is still very limited when it comes to communications, so he cannot speak and he can’t walk … which has a huge impact of course on his life and of everyone else, his family, » Honorary Consul Hubertus Liebrecht told CBC News in a phone interview, his first time speaking to media since the incident.

While driving from Banff to Calgary with his wife, his son and his son’s girlfriend on Aug. 2, another vehicle pulled up beside them on Highway 1A.

Stewin was shot in the head near the Morley rodeo grounds, about 55 kilometres west of Calgary. He was flown back to Germany and had the bullet lodged in his head removed.

The trip to Alberta was a 60th birthday present for the man, Liebrecht said.

The 16-year-old accused of shooting him is out on bail and court-ordered to live with his grandmother as a condition of his release.

The details of the alleged crime discussed during the bail hearing in the Provincial Court of Alberta are all protected by a publication ban. The Youth Criminal Justice Act protects the teen’s identity.

The teen faces 14 charges including attempted murder and eight gun-related offences.

Liebrecht raised $13,435 for the family through a GoFundMe to help pay for expenses in Alberta and to get back home.

« Canadians contributed in a really impressive way, » the honorary consul said. « Especially the comments were very touching in many ways and I forwarded them all to the family. »

Never work again

But Liebrecht said the family still has major financial challenges ahead.

Stewin was a 50 per cent shareholder in his company, and his business partner had a stroke last year.

« So, now the company is in a difficult position as well, which creates financial stress, » Liebrecht said. « It’s very difficult to really make a reliable forecast at this point but he will never be able to work again, that seems to be sure. »

Liebrecht said he’s been contacted by many tourism agencies in Germany since the incident, inquiring about safety in Alberta.

He said he feels the shooting was a one-time incident, but noted all parties involved will be carefully watching what happens now in the court proceedings.

With files from Elizabeth Snaddon

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Teen accused of shooting German tourist released on bail

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The teenager accused of randomly shooting a German tourist in the head was granted bail Thursday and must live with his grandmother as a condition of his release.

The details of the alleged crime discussed during the bail hearing in the Provincial Court of Alberta are all protected by a publication ban. The Youth Criminal Justice Act protects the teen’s identity.

He faces 14 charges including attempted murder and eight gun-related offences.

On Wednesday, prosecutor Dane Rolfe argued against the boy’s release while defence lawyer Balfour Der told Judge Peter Barley the boy should be granted bail. 

His release conditions include keeping the peace, staying away from drugs and alcohol and reporting to his bail supervisor. The boy will also be on house arrest except for attending school or medical appointments.

The 16-year-old will be allowed to play hockey as long as an approved adult goes with him.

This summer, a German family was travelling from Banff to Calgary in a rented SUV when another vehicle pulled up beside them on Highway 1A.

Horst Stewin, 60, was driving when he was shot in the head near the Morley rodeo grounds, about 55 kilometres west of Calgary.

The SUV swerved off the road and into a tree. Stewin’s three passengers suffered minor injuries. He was airlifted to a Calgary hospital.

Stewin was treated in Calgary before he was flown back to Germany for a precarious surgery involving doctors in his home country removing the bullet from his head.

At the time of the teen’s arrest three weeks after the shooting, police said Stewin had a long road of recovery ahead of him.

A trial date has not yet been set. 

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