18-year-old student kills a woman and leaves three injured at a university in Germany
Photo: RONALD WITTEK / EFE
An 18-year-old German student killed a woman and left three other people injured, armed with two rifles, when he stormed into a class at the University of Heidelberg. (southwest Germany) and commit suicide abroad with one of his weapons.
The attacker was a citizen of the neighboring city of Mannheim and had sent a WhatsApp message immediately before his act talking about the need to "punish people", reported sources from the investigation, who are still trying to verify the veracity of that message.
The aggressor was a student at the center, although he was not studying Organic Biology, the class in which he broke into. At the time, there were about thirty students in the class.
The fatal victim, a 23-year-old woman, died shortly after the attack as a result of her injuries. Two other women and a man, aged between 19 and 21, were injured in the legs and back.
At the moment there is no indication of a political or religious background, said the head of the Heidelberg Public Prosecutor's Office, Andras Herrgen. Nor has it been possible to establish whether he fired at will or with defined objectives, since he stopped his attack seconds after starting it and fled, despite having plenty of ammunition with him.
The perpetrator of the attack had no criminal record and neither he nor his family had a weapons permit, according to the prosecutor, who considered it "premature" to make any assumptions about his alleged motives. The prosecutor did specify that the weapons with which he acted had been acquired abroad.
The police received a first alert from the University when the attacker broke into the classroom and started shooting. In a matter of 43 seconds, several more calls were received and the police forces arrived at the scene a few minutes later.
After deploying a strong device and securing the area, the entire university campus where the attack took place was cordoned off, including the university clinic, the Faculty of Sciences and the Botanical Garden.
Shortly after it was verified that the attacker acted alone and it was ruled out that there were explosives in the abandoned backpack. By mid-afternoon, road traffic to the campus was restored, having been cut off for a wide radius to the gates of Heidelberg's old town.
The police urged the population while the alarm lasted not to approach the place, until the situation was considered to be under control, and also urged not to spread speculation on the networks.
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