Germany · Massacres/Mass Murder · School Violence

Teen goes on shooting spree, kills 15, self, injures 9

March 11, 2009
Winnenden and Wendlingen, Germany
Tim Kretschmer (17) goes on a shooting spree, killing 15 and injuring 9 before killing himself

At approximately 9:30 a.m., Kretschmer entered Albertville-Realschule, a secondary school he had left the year before. He headed straight to a classroom during a chemistry class and immediately began shooting students in their heads without warning. Kretschmer left the class to shoot students and teachers in other rooms, returning to the chemistry class three times. Witnesses stated that, upon his final visit, Kretschmer asked “Aren’t you all dead yet?” It was reportedly the only thing he spoke during the shooting spree.

Police received a call three minutes after the shootings began and arrived on the scene two minutes later. Police confronted Kretschmer in the school halls, who shot at the officers before fleeing the scene. A total of 12 students and teachers were killed in the school, as was a gardener at a nearby psychiatric hospital; seven were injured.

Kretschmer evaded a manhunt until noon when he carjacked a Volkswagen and ordered the driver at gunpoint to deliver him out of town. When the car got stuck in traffic, Kretschmer fled on foot. Apparently intent to kill as many people as possible, Kretschmer fired indiscriminately at people in a car dealership, killing a salesman and a customer. By this point, police had converged on Kretschmer and a shootout began. Kretschmer was shot in the ankle and knee by police, fell, got back up, and shot himself in the head at 12:15.

Kretschmer left no suicide note or other indication as to the motivation behind the killing spree. His former teachers did note Kretschmer had been in trouble in the past for bullying, and described the teen as “disgruntled.”

Sources:
“Parents of German shooter unaware of teen’s despair.” The Times [Munster, Indiana]. March 18, 2009
Leske, Nicola. “Shooter May have tipped hand in Internet chatroom.” The Vancouver Sun. March 13, 2009
Rayner, Gordon and Bingham, John. “‘Aren’t you all dead yet,’ gunman asked.” National Post [Toronto, Ontario]. March 12, 2009

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