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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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Learn more about Denmark during the Danish Business Delegations visit to SPIBA this evening starting at 5:30 p.m. at the Danish Culture Institute. Danish Consul general Klaus Sorensen will be in attendance and the buffet following a presentation on Danish companies in Russia will be the perfect opportunity to network with the assembled businessmen.


AmChams Human Resources Committee Meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. this morning in their St. Petersburg office. Check their website for more details.



Friday, Apr. 25


Light Music presents the main events for their Cultural Kitchen project at Loft-Project Etagi today. A B2B event that focuses on Finnish food, arts, travel, music and design, the evening will conclude with a dinner by chef Jyrki Tsutsunen and dancing to music by Aino Venna. The event, which began yesterday with presentations by tourism and cultural institutions, concludes today with a preview of Finlands Flow festival and other musical events. Invitations are available from www.culturalkitchen.fi.



Saturday, Apr. 26


At 6 p.m. this evening, stylist Liliana Modigliani offers 50 simple ways to up your style quotient with beauty tips at the Galeria shopping center on Ligovsky Prospekt. The event is part of the final day of the shopping malls Fashion Saturday sales event, this week focusing on top brands located on the ground floor as well as presentation from fashion experts on sprucing up your spring look.



Sunday, Apr. 27


Families shouldnt miss Childhood Planet 2014, the trade fair that started yesterday and concludes today at LenExpo. Not only will goods and services be provided for children and families but the event hopes to promote Russian brands and eco-friendly products using the latest technology available in the childcare industry.



Monday, Apr. 28


The Hotel Indigo will be the site of SPIBAs Acting Skills for HR and Other Managers master class this morning starting at 9 a.m. The event will begin with coffee before moving on to the class itself and conclude with a tour of the recently opened hotel. Confirm attendance by Apr. 24.



Tuesday, Apr. 29


Improve your English at the British Book Centers Interactive English Lesson tonight at 6 p.m. Students at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels are welcome discuss topics that are selected to help learners master the more difficult aspects of English grammar and vocabulary.