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Teen Gunman Massacres 15 at School in Germany

Published: March 13, 2009 (Issue # 1456)



  • Students mourn at the Albertville-Realschule school in Winnenden where a gunman killed 15 people on Wednesday.
    Photo: Reuters

WAIBLINGEN, Germany The 17-year-old gunman who went on a rampage at his former school and killed 15 people before taking his own life warned of his plans in an Internet chatroom only hours before, officials said Thursday.

Suspect Tim K. told others in the chat room that he was sick of this life and planned to attack his school in Winnenden, Baden Wuerttemburg state Interior Minister Heribert Rech said.

Rech said the suspect wrote, You will hear from me tomorrow, remember the name of a place called Winnenden.

In the first indication of a motive in the shooting, Rech said the teenager told others in the German-language chat room that: Everyone laughs at me, nobody recognizes my potential.

Im serious, I have a weapon here, Rech said the youth wrote. Tomorrow I will go to my school.

Rech said that the chat had occurred the night before the attack, but a police official, Erwin Hetger, later said it was in the early morning Wednesday, about six hours before the 9:30 a.m. shooting.

A Bavarian man told police about the chat after the school shooting in Winnenden had taken place, Rech said. He told authorities his 17-year-old son only told him about it after seeing the news reports and had not taken the threat seriously.

Despite the high death toll, the shooting could have been worse if the principal of the high school had not been able to warn teachers with a prearranged code over the public address system when the suspect burst into the school.

According to media reports, after the suspect entered the school in Winnenden on Wednesday morning and opened fire, the principal put the emergency plan in effect, quickly broadcasting a coded message to teachers: Frau Koma is coming, students said.

Then our teacher closed the door and said we should close the windows and sit on the floor, a student, identified only as Kim S., told ZDF television.

In German the word amoklauf is used to describe school shootings, and koma is the reverse of the word amok. Hetger said the coded alert was worked out by German educators after a deadly school shooting in Erfurt in 2002 as a way to warn teachers.

Local media have identified the gunman as Tim Kretschmer and the name on his parents home was Kretschmer.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Dec. 19


Test your mastery of parlor games during Game Evening at the British Book Center. Learn how to play a variety of classic, mentally challenging games and use your newly acquired skills to crush weaker opponents. The event beings at 5 p.m.



Saturday, Dec. 20


The citys Babushkina Park on Prospekt Obukhovskoy Oborony will be invaded by dozens of rocking-and-rolling Santa Clauses during todays Santa Claus Parade. Not only will they parade through the park but there will also be competitions amongst the festively-clad participants and a musical master class. There will also be a prize for the best-dressed Santa Claus.


Stock up your record collection during the Vinyl Christmas Sale at the KL10TCH bar on Konyushennaya ploschad today. Spend the afternoon perusing the records for sale while listening the classic, clean sound of records spinning out hits from a variety of musical genres and time periods.



Sunday, Dec. 21


The Zenit St. Petersburg basketball team returns to the northern capital this evening for a matchup with Krasny Oktyabr, a Volgograd-based basketball club. Tickets for the game, which tips off at 6 p.m. this evening, can be purchased on the clubs website or at their arena, Sibur Arena, on Krestovsky island.


Satisfy your sugar cravings during Sweet New Year, an ongoing seasonal festival at the Raduga shopping center. Each weekend of December will welcome hungry visitors to taste hundreds of different kinds of desserts made from a plethora of sweet treats. Workshops are open to visitors and seasonal gifts can also be purchased for those rushing to finish their New Year shopping.



Monday, Dec. 22


Pick out the latest fashions as holiday gifts for loved ones or as early presents for yourself during the Christmas Design Sale at Kraft on Obvodny Kanal, starting on Dec. 20 and continuing through Dec. 27. Designer clothes will be on sale every day of the week or you can buy something more festive to decorate the home while sipping on hot coffee and perusing the various master classes.



Tuesday, Dec. 23


Meet Arctic explorers Fedor Konukhov and Viktor Simonov during SPIBAs and Capital Legal Services event Arctic Expedition this morning in the Mertens House business center at 21 Nevsky Prospekt. The meeting will discuss the explorers ongoing eco-social project and how companies can use the project as a unique marketing opportunity. Email office@spiba.ru by Dec. 22 if you wish to attend.



Wednesday, Dec. 24


The Anglican Church of St. Petersburg we will be holding a Christmas Eve service at 7 p.m. led by Rev Wm. Shepley Curtis of the Episcopal Church. The service will be held at the Swedish Church at 1/3 Malaya Konyushennaya Ulitsa.



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