x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Teenager kills 16 and dies in gun battle

A teenager goes on a shooting spree at his former school near Stuttgart before being shot by police in a gun battle.

An armed police officer stands in front of the Albertville school in Winnenden near Stuttgart.
An armed police officer stands in front of the Albertville school in Winnenden near Stuttgart.

A teenager in black combat gear went on a shooting spree at his former school in Germany today, slaying at least 15 people before dying in a shootout with police, officials said. The death toll rose to 16 after am injured pupil died in hospital. Ten pupils, three teachers and three passers-by were among those killed in the shooting. Police said that several others were wounded in the shooting spree at the secondary school in Winnenden, near the southern city of Stuttgart. Armed commandos with helicopters and dogs launched a massive hunt for the 17-year-old gunman, police sources told AFP that he was then killed in a fire-fight with police. German television earlier reported that a suspect had been arrested but police said that he had fled the school in the direction of the town centre. The editor of the local paper, Frank Nipkau, told television channel N-TV that eight pupils and two adults were shot dead at the secondary school. "The gunman just sprayed bullets all around him," N-TV cited an unnamed witness as saying. A local radio journalist told the same channel that the ex-pupil had used a machine gun. The Bild daily newspaper said on its website that police commandos had stormed the home of the 17-year-old's parents, where 18 weapons were legally held. It was unclear if the gunman used any these guns in his attack. The picturesque town of Winnenden, which lies around 25km north-east of Stuttgart in the southern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, has around 27,000 inhabitants. Europe has been scarred by a number of fatal attacks on schools or nurseries in recent years, at least three of them in Germany. In February 2002, a 22-year-old gunman killed the headmaster and seriously injured another person in a vocational training establishment he attended at Freising, near Munich. Two months later, 16 people were killed at a high-school in Erfurt in eastern Germany, by a 19-year-old former student, who then killed himself. In November 2006, a former student at a vocational school in Lower Saxony in northwestern Germany went a shooting spree in the establishment, injuring 37 people before turning his gun on himself. He had warned of his intentions on the internet. *AFP and AP