The 2008 Greek riots started on 6 December 2008, when Alexandros Grigoropoulos (Greek: Αλέξανδρος Γρηγορόπουλος), a 15-year-old student, was fatally shot by Epaminondas Korkoneas, a police officer. Korkoneas, accompanied by another police officer on a patrol, shot Alexandros who was out to celebrate a friend's name day in Exarcheia district of central Athens.
The death of Grigoropoulos resulted in large protests and demonstrations, which escalated to widespread rioting, with hundreds of rioters damaging property and engaging riot police with Molotov cocktails, stones and other objects. Demonstrations and rioting soon spread to several other cities, including Thessaloniki, the country's second-largest city. Outside Greece, solidarity demonstrations, riots and, in some cases, clashes with local police also took place in a number of European cities including Istanbul, London, Paris, Brussels, Rome, Dublin, Berlin, Frankfurt, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, The Hague, Copenhagen, Bordeaux, Seville as well as Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, and the western Cypriot city of Paphos. Newspaper Kathimerini called the rioting "the worst Greece has seen since the restoration of democracy in 1974".