A teenager was killed in a small village in Viotia (Boeotia) prefecture, 50km northeast of Athens, during a police pursuit on Saturday night.

According to reports, police chased a suspicious vehicle carrying four passengers, including a 17-year-old from a local Roma settlement who was subsequently shot. The vehicle’s driver allegedly refused to comply with the officers’ signal to stop for an inspection.

The chase ended when the vehicle was cornered by a patrol car in a rural dead-end, near the town of Thebes, and roughly 15km south of the initial contact.

According to police, the passengers in the vehicle reportedly assaulted the officers when they tried to detain them, and in the ensuing altercation one of the suspects attempted to grab an officer’s gun, which accidentally discharged, killing the teenager.

The victim was immediately transported to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Police issued a statement regarding the incident, saying the police officer involved in the shooting had been detained, while a case file was drawn up and submitted to a competent prosecutor. Additionally, an internal investigation has been ordered, the standard procedure in fatal incidents involving police in Greece. Officers are also automatically detained in such incidents, pending a decision by a prosecutor or judicial magistrate regarding remand.

Protests and even rioting erupted in some parts of Greece in September 2022 after a 16-year-old teen, also a member of a Roma (gypsy) community, was shot in the head after fleeing from police in a pickup truck in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

Police at the time maintained that the victim has attempted to ram a police cruiser, following a police chase commenced after the former fled a gas station without paying.