An elderly Greek steel magnate was shot to death on a downtown street Tuesday by a gunman who escaped on a motorbike driven by an accomplice, police and witnesses said.
Police said the left-wing terrorist organization that calls itself November 17 claimed responsibility for the murder of Dimitrios Angelopoulos, 79. The group has claimed responsibility for 10 other assassinations since 1975, including the killing of two Americans.
Police said the gunman opened fire as Angelopoulos, who was en route to his office, walked unaccompanied down a crowded street. He was hit by at least four bullets from a .38-caliber weapon.
Witnesses said the gunman, who looked about 30, wore a trench coat and carried a travel bag. After the shooting, he was seen jumping onto a waiting motorbike. Police later said the motorbike and its license plates were both stolen.
Police issued a sketch of a man they said was based on witnesses’ descriptions, and the government offered a reward of $300,000 for information leading to his arrest.
Angelopoulos and his three brothers built a family hardware business into an international steel-manufacturing concern, Halyvourgiki. They also own steel plants in Britain and Switzerland.
The group November 17, which is named after the day in 1973 when troops and tanks crushed a student rebellion at Athens Polytechnic University, has claimed responsibility for the December, 1975, killing of Richard Welch, CIA station chief in Athens, and the November, 1983, killing of U.S. Navy Capt. George Tsantes.
No arrests have ever been made in connection with these attacks.
A statement issued in Athens on behalf of Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou expressed “revulsion at this murder.”