‘German’ exchange student shot dead by homeowner was ‘garage hopping after learning it from local kids’

German national of Turkish descent, Diren Dede, 17

A “German” exchange student shot dead by a homeowner broke into the garages of different homes with a companion three or four times before the shooting, it has been alleged.

Markus Kaarma has been charged with deliberate homicide in the April 27 slaying of Diren Dede, 17, in Missoula, Montana.

Prosecutors allege Kaarma, 29, shot blindly into his garage, hitting Dede, after sensors and a video monitor alerted him to an intruder.

But Kaarma’s lawyer, Paul Ryan said Dede’s companion that night was an exchange student who has returned home to Ecuador. He did not release the student’s name.

Ryan says the Ecuadorian student told police the boys started “garage hopping” after learning about the practice from other students at their high school.

Meanwhile, authorities are looking into whether marijuana or alcohol played a role in the shooting.