One victim dead in German lecture hall shooting: Security sources

An armoured police vehicle stands next to a police car on the compound of the University of Heidelberg, on Jan 24, 2022. PHOTO: AFP
Police cars stand on the campus of the University in Heidelberg, on Jan 24, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

FRANKFURT (AFP, REUTERS) - A young woman died of her wounds after a gunman stormed a lecture hall at Heidelberg University in Germany on Monday (Jan 24), security sources told AFP, adding that the shooter had later killed himself.

“A young woman died in hospital of her gunshot wounds,” the sources said. “The perpetrator took his own life. Everything points to a lone perpetrator.”

Mass-selling newspaper Bild said the shooter opened fire in the lecture hall and injured several people before turning his weapon on himself.

According to the German Press Agency (DPA), the perpetrator was a student himself and was carrying several firearms at the time of the attack. Investigators said he had no political or religious motives.

Police said the weapon used in the shooting was a long-barrelled firearm, Bild added.

One Twitter user said: “Absolutely shocking and saddening news. Not long ago, I was working peacefully in Heidelberg University library. A beautiful place. It’s horrific to think such a thing can happen in a place of learning in 2022.”

Heidelberg is a picturesque university town in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, home to a population of around 160,000 people. Heidelberg University, founded in 1386, is the country’s oldest.

The Neuenheimer Feld campus of the university hosts natural sciences departments, part of the university clinic as well as a botanical garden.

Germany has been hit in recent years by a spate of attacks, mostly perpetrated by jihadists or far-right militants.

School shootings, however, are relatively rare in Germany, a country with some of the strictest gun laws in Europe.

In 2009, a former pupil killed nine students, three teachers and three passers-by in a school shooting at Winnenden, also in Baden-Wuerttemberg. The gunman then killed himself.

In 2002, a 19-year-old former student, apparently in revenge for having been expelled, gunned down 16 people including 12 teachers and two students at a school in the central German city of Erfurt. He, too, then killed himself. 

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