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Ex-Employee Kills Three Executives at Office of Greek Shipowner

Police line
Tony Webster / CC BY

Published Feb 12, 2024 2:14 PM by The Maritime Executive

On Monday, a former employee of the Greek shipping company European Navigation entered the company's offices near Athens and opened fire, killing three. The dead included the owner of the company. 

Witnesses told Greek media that the ex-employee entered the building's parking garage at about 1020 hours. He entered the building carrying a short-barreled rifle, and shot two people on the building's mezzanine level and one more on the second floor before killing himself.

Greek SWAT agency EKAM arrived on the scene and initially treated the response as a hostage situation. Its agents entered the building at 1130. 

European Navigation is a product tanker operator based in Glyfada, a suburb of Athens. It manages a mix of shuttle tankers, LR2s, MRs and smaller coastal vessels. 

 “I heard the gunshots, I heard the first two. I headed towards the stairs to see what was happening. I saw two guys coming down; they said, ‘It’s Aris with a gun, he’s shooting.’ Of course, I dashed outside, towards the garden, and made my way out through the back door of the garage," one survivor told Ekathemerini. 

"He wanted to take revenge on the bosses. He was yelling at everyone to leave, he didn't want to hit someone else," another employee told Eidiseis. 

The perpetrator has been identified in Greek media as an Egyptian national aged 70 years old, who had reportedly worked at European Navigation for 36 years. He had reportedly worked for the shipowning family as a caretaker, and had recently been dismissed. 

The victims were family members Maria Karnesis and Antonis Vlassakis, along with an employee, Captain Ilias Koukoularis, according to local media. 

"My family and I are deeply devastated by the tragic and unexpected event that struck our family and led to the loss of my sister Maria, my son-in-law Antonis Vlassakis and our partner Ilias Koukoularis," said company founder Spyros Karnesis in a statement to Greek media.