Teen Kills 16 in School Shooting Spree in Germany

A 17-year-old gunman dressed in black opened fire at his former high school in southwestern Germany, killing up to 16.

Police have just announced that a girl who was seriously injured in a school shooting near Stuttgart, Germany, has died of her wounds in the hospital, bringing the death toll to 17, including the gunman.

From CNN:

Tim Kretschmer, 17, began his rampage at a school where he used to be a student in Winnenden, a small town about 20 kilometers (12 miles) northeast of Stuttgart.

Most of the victims at the school were female — eight female students, three female teachers and one male student, said Heribert Rech, interior minister for Baden Wuerttemberg region.

Rech said: “They were completely taken by surprise. Some of the victims still had their pens in their hands.”

Kretschmer opened fire in three first floor classrooms, including a physics lab where a teacher was found dead behind her desk, Rech told a news conference.

Rech said police arrived in minutes. “This speedy intervention means they prevented further escalation of events.”

The shooting at the Albertville-Realschule Winnenden school began around 9:45 a.m. (4:45 a.m. EDT) and lasted about two minutes.

Kretschmer did not shoot wildly, Rech said, contradicting earlier police statements, but hit most of his victims in the head.

As the first police arrived at the school, he fled and killed a person working in a hospital nearby, then hijacked a car, taking the driver hostage.

He drove towards the nearby town of Wendlingen, but the car crashed on a sharp bend, Rech said.

The driver escaped and called police as Kretschmer ran away and towards a car salesroom in Wendlingen where he shot a salesperson and a customer, Rech said. Video More about the gunman’s deadly route »

“Police officers in civilian clothes opened fire and shot several times. The perpetrator tried to escape and was shot at least once in the leg. … A little later he was found dead,” he added.

It was not clear if he died from injuries received in the police shootout or if he committed suicide. Regional police chief Erwin Hetger said police thought he had killed himself.

Kretschmer was on the loose for three and a half hours after the incident began, police said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it was “inconceivable that within seconds school students and teachers have been put to death by this terrible crime.”

“It is a day of mourning for the whole of Germany,” she said in a televised statement.

Police did not know the motive for the shooting spree, CNN’s Frederik Pleitgen reported from Winnenden.

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