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
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) Photo Gallery>>>
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
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. (Xinhua/AFP Photo) Photo Gallery>>>
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,"
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
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.
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) Photo