School shooting shocks Germany, chancellor appalled
www.chinaview.cn 2009-03-11 23:35:01   Print
 
°§Germany was shocked by a tragic school shooting Wednesday which killed 16 people.
°§Merkel described the shooting spree as an appalling crime.
°§The motive of the gunman is still unknown.

An armed police officer stands in front of the Albertville school in Winnenden near Stuttgart, Germany, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. Police say a gunman dressed in a black combat uniform opened fire at a high school in southern Germany on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and injuring others before fleeing the scene. (Xinhua/AP Photo)
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    BERLIN, March 11 (Xinhua) -- Germany was shocked by a tragic school shooting on Wednesday which killed 16 people, including the 17-year-old gunman apparently killing himself in a standoff with police.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the shooting spree as an appalling crime, adding that Wednesday is a day of sorrow for the whole of Germany.

    The gunman, reportedly a former student of the school, went on shooting spree around 9:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) at the Albertville high school in the town of Winnenden near the southwestern German city of Stuttgart.

Graphics shows several serious fatal school shooting cases across the world in recent years. (Xinhua/Zhang Liyun)
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    Nine students between 14 and 15 years old and three teachers were killed after the shooter, identified as Tim K., entered two classrooms and started the shootout, local officials said at a press conference. Police said that earlier reports that another student died of her wounds in the hospital were incorrect.

    On fleeing the school, the attacker also shot dead an employee of a clinic near the school.

    The gunman then hijacked a car and forced the driver to drive him to another town called Wendlingen. He shot dead another two people at a car dealership in an industrial zone and injured two police officers before shooting him to death during a standoff, local official said at a press conference.

    It was the worst school shooting in Germany since April 2002 when a 19 year-old high school student went on rampage and killed 17 and eventually himself at a high school in the eastern city of Erfurt.

Rescue teams and police forces stand in front of the Albertville school in Winnenden near Stuttgart, Germany, Wednesday, March 11, 2009.

Rescue teams and police forces stand in front of the Albertville school in Winnenden near Stuttgart, Germany, Wednesday, March 11, 2009. (Xinhua/AFP Photo)
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed shock at the shooting spree, describing it as an appalling crime.

    "It is hard to understand that within seconds students and teachers were robbed of their lives by an appalling crime," Merkel said in a televised statement.

    She also expressed deep sympathy with families and relatives of the victims and promised whatever helps needed.

    "This is a day of sorrow for the whole of Germany," she said.

    German President Horst Koehler also expressed sympathy with families and friends of the victims.

    The German government announced that government buildings will fly flags at half mast on Thursday and the day of funeral service.

    Local officials said, father of the gunman, a local businessman and member of a sport-shooting club, possesses 15 registered weapons. The gunman apparently had taken one of the pistols and over 100 rounds of munitions with him for the crime.

    The motive of the gunman is still unknown. While pointing out that the victims are mainly female, including eight girls and three female teachers, local officials said it might be a coincident.

    Neighbors said that the shooter, who graduated from the school in 2007, was reserved and a loner who liked to play shooting at the basement of his parents' house. He also had a large collection of horror videos.

EU's Barroso appalled by school shooting in Germany

    BRUSSELS, March 11 (Xinhua) -- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said on Wednesday that he and the Commission were appalled by the school shooting in Germany.

    "We are appalled and saddened by the senseless violence that cut short so many lives and injured and traumatized many others," Barroso said in a statement.  Full story

Gunman killed by police, killing 15 at German school

    BERLIN, March 11 (Xinhua) -- The gunman who killed 15 people at a German school was shot dead on Wednesday by police after the shooting spree, police said.

    The death toll has risen from previous 10, including nine students and one teacher at the school.

    A shootout broke out afterwards when the police tried to catch him, backed by helicopters. Two additional passers-by were killed and two policemen seriously injured, bringing the total death toll to 16 including the gunman, a police spokesman said.   Full story 

An undated handout picture shows the Albertville school in southwestern German town of Winnenden near Stuttgart. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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Editor: Yan
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