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Father of slain German teen decries US gun culture

BERLIN — The father of a 17-year-old German exchange student shot dead in Montana criticized the gun culture in the United States Thursday.

‘‘America cannot continue to play cowboy,’’ Celal Dede told the German news agency dpa after arriving in the United States to arrange the transport of his son Diren’s body back to Germany.

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‘‘I didn’t think for one night that everyone here can kill somebody just because that person entered his backyard,’’ Dede said.

The 46-year-old father said he wouldn’t have allowed his son to participate in the exchange if he had known.

Markus Kaarma, a homeowner in Missoula, Montana, on Sunday fired four blasts from a shotgun into his garage, killing Diren Dede who was inside. He faces a charge of deliberate homicide.

Prosecutors allege Kaarma shot into his garage without warning after Dede tripped sensors. Kaarma’s attorney, Paul Ryan, said Wednesday the homeowner didn’t know whether the boy was armed or what his intentions were when he entered the garage.

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