The Winnenden school shooting occurred on the morning of 11 March 2009 at a secondary school in Winnenden, Baden-Württemberg, in southwestern Germany, followed by a shootout at a car dealership in nearby Wendlingen. The shooting spree resulted in 16 deaths, including the suicide of the perpetrator, 17-year-old Tim Kretschmer, who had graduated from the school one year earlier. He also injured nine people during the incident.
|Winnenden school shooting|
"Albertville" Secondary School in Winnenden on 12 March 2009
|Location||Winnenden, Baden-Württemberg, Germany|
|Date||11 March 2009 |
09:30 – 13:08 (UTC+01:00)
|School shooting, mass murder, murder-suicide, shooting spree|
|Weapons||Beretta 92FS INOX|
|Deaths||Winnenden: 13 (including 12 at the Albertville-Realschule)|
Wendlingen: 3 (including the perpetrator) Total: 16
Wendlingen: 2 Total: 9
In the Albertville-Realschule at approximately 09:30 (CET), Kretschmer first began shooting with a 9 mm Beretta 92FS semi-automatic pistol, which he had taken from his parents' bedroom. Eyewitness reports state that Kretschmer started on the first upstairs floor, where he made a beeline for two top-floor classrooms and a chemistry laboratory. In the first classroom, Kretschmer fatally shot five students in the head at close range without warning. He then entered the next classroom, killed two more students, and wounded nine more, two of whom would die of their wounds en route to the hospital. As Kretschmer left the room to reload his weapon, the teacher reportedly closed the door and locked it. After unsuccessfully trying to shoot off the lock, Kretschmer then moved on to the chemistry laboratory, where he shot and killed the teacher. Students escaped Kretschmer by jumping out of windows. In the three targeted classrooms, he killed nine students (eight female and one male, 14–16 years old) and a female teacher. He shot most of his victims in the head. Kretschmer fired more than 60 rounds at the school. Because the majority of the victims were female, some speculated that Kretschmer specifically targeted females.
The school headmaster broadcast a coded announcement ("Mrs Koma is coming", which is amok spelled backwards) alerting the teachers of the situation; they locked classroom doors. This coded alert had been used by German educators after the Erfurt school massacre in April 2002.
After receiving an emergency call from a student at 09:33 local time, three police officers reached the scene two minutes later and entered the school, interrupting the shooting spree. Kretschmer shot at them and fled the building, killing two female teachers in the hall as he departed. He killed a total of 12 people at the school. A quantity of unused ammunition was recovered from the school. "It appears the perpetrator may have intended to do far more harm at the school than he managed," said chief criminal investigator Ralf Michelfelder.
Kretschmer fled the scene and killed the 56-year-old gardener (caretaker) of a nearby psychiatric hospital in the park. Large numbers of police officers secured the school building and searched for Kretschmer throughout Winnenden for hours without success. News reports confirmed that Kretschmer was on the run and warned motorists not to pick up any hitchhikers.
At approximately 10:00, the gunman carjacked a Volkswagen Sharan minivan at a car park in Winnenden. From his position on the rear seat, the gunman ordered the driver Igor Wolf to drive towards Wendlingen, 40 km (25 mi) from Winnenden. The gunman and the driver went westwards into the suburbs of Stuttgart, the Baden-Württemberg state capital, travelling through the towns and districts of Waiblingen, Fellbach and Bad Cannstatt, before driving on the B14 dual carriageway through the Heslach Tunnel onto the A81 autobahn motorway towards Böblingen and Tübingen. The two drove onto the B27 dual carriageway before leaving on the B313 to Nürtingen.
Igor Wolf later reported that, when asked why he was doing this, the gunman replied, "For fun, because it is fun." ("Aus Spaß, weil es Spaß macht.“) According to Wolf, the gunman revealed his intentions as he was loading his pistol magazines during the ride: "Do you think we will find another school?" ("Meinst du, wir finden noch eine andere Schule?"). Wolf says he quickly changed the conversation then.
The gunman immediately left the car and ran towards the nearby industrial area, entering a Volkswagen car showroom through the main entrance. He threatened a salesperson and demanded a key for one of the vehicles. The salesperson escaped while the gunman was distracted. The gunman shot and killed another salesperson and a customer, firing 13 bullets into both people. As he reloaded, another salesperson and visitor fled through the rear exit. The gunman emerged at about 12:30 and shot at a passing car. The driver escaped without injury. The police started to arrive and a shootout began. An officer fired eight shots at the gunman, hitting him once in each leg.
The gunman returned to the car showroom, firing 12 shots from within the building at police from nearby Nürtingen, who were gradually surrounding the building. He left the rear of the building and ran across a yard to a neighbouring business complex, where he shot and injured two police officers in an unmarked police vehicle.
According to police reports, at this point Kretschmer continued to shoot at random, shooting at nearby buildings and people, including an employee of a firm who was trying to lock the door. Witnesses described observing the gunman as he reloaded his pistol before shooting himself in the head. The final seconds of the shootout were captured with a cell phone video camera.
According to forensic evidence, during the whole shooting spree, the gunman fired a total of 112 rounds.
|Born||26 July 1991|
|Died||11 March 2009 (aged 17)|
Wendlingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Tim Kretschmer (26 July 1991 – 11 March 2009) lived with his parents in the neighbouring municipality of Leutenbach. He had graduated from Albertville Realschule in 2008 with relatively poor grades.
Kretschmer's failing grades had prevented him from entering an apprenticeship. He was attending a commercial high school (Donner + Kern) in Waiblingen to prepare for an apprenticeship for a commercial career. Several accounts described him as suffering from depression. Kretschmer was described by a friend as "a lonely and frustrated person who felt rejected by society". An anonymous friend described Kretschmer as a quiet student who began to withdraw from his peers.
He was an avid table tennis player and had hoped to become a professional player. Marko Habijanec, a Croatian table tennis player who coached Kretschmer at the Erdmannhausen sports club between 2000 and 2003, remembers him as being "a bit spoiled", with his mother fulfilling many of his demands. According to Habijanec, Kretschmer had great difficulties accepting defeat: he would have a temper tantrum, yelling and throwing his racket. The coach said that, having a high opinion of his own abilities, Kretschmer openly denigrated his teammates. When Habijanec discussed Tim's attitude with his mother, he discovered she sided fully with her son.
Media reports say he enjoyed playing the video game Counter-Strike and playing with airsoft guns. Commentators also noted that "game addiction is a symptom of something wrong and not a cause". He also shot his guns in the forest behind his home and also in the basement of his house. On his last day alive, Kretschmer played the video game Far Cry 2 online as "JawsPredator1".
After inspection of his computer, officers found that Kretschmer was interested in sadomasochistic scenes where a man is bound and humiliated by women. He viewed such a movie the evening before his attacks.
Kretschmer did not have a criminal record. The press reported that in 2008, Kretschmer had received treatment as an in-patient at the Weissenhoff Psychiatric Clinic near the town of Heilbronn. After being discharged, Kretschmer was supposed to continue his treatment as an out-patient in Winnenden, but ended his treatment.
According to police and clinic staff, he had been treated repeatedly for clinical depression on an out-patient basis in 2008. His family rejected these claims and maintained that he never received psychiatric treatment. According to a psychiatric report prepared for the prosecutor's office, Kretschmer met five times with a therapist and talked about his growing anger and violent urges; the therapist informed Kretschmer's parents.
In a press conference on 12 March, police reported that Kretschmer had announced his killing spree several hours ahead of time on Krautchan. The next day, police determined that this message had not been written on Kretschmer's computer and was a forgery.
Three weeks before the shooting, Kretschmer had written a letter to his parents, saying that he was suffering and could not go on.
In an interview in 2014, Kretschmer's parents stated that they had always loved their son and that they did not have an explanation for his actions. They have since changed their name and moved to a different city.
Police raided the Kretschmer family house at about 11:00 a.m. on the day of the shooting. Tim Kretschmer's father legally owned 15 guns as a member of a local marksmen club ("Schützenverein" in German). One 9 mm Beretta handgun was found missing, along with several hundred rounds of ammunition. Fourteen of the guns were kept in a gun safe, while the Beretta had been kept unsecured in the bedroom.
Five days after the event, prosecutors initiated preliminary proceedings against the father for negligent homicide, since the gun had not been properly locked away as required by law. The police confiscated the 14 remaining guns. The father announced that he would voluntarily relinquish his gun ownership authorization.
In November 2009, the Public Prosecutor's Department in Stuttgart announced that the father had been indicted on charges of negligent homicide, bodily injury caused by negligence, and violation of the weapons law. On 10 February 2011, the state court in Stuttgart found the father guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 15 cases, bodily harm caused by negligence and the negligent abandonment of a weapon. The father received a suspended sentence of one year and nine months, and appealed the verdict. The appeals court handed out a suspended sentence of one year and six months in 2013.
German President Horst Köhler said he was "appalled and saddened" by the killings. Köhler and his wife expressed their condolences to the victims and their families and friends. Chancellor Angela Merkel described the shootings as "incomprehensible". "It is unimaginable that in just seconds, pupils and teachers were killed – it is an appalling crime," she told reporters. "This is a day of mourning for the whole of Germany," she continued. Baden-Württemberg Minister-President Günther Oettinger travelled to the scene of the crime by helicopter shortly after the news broke. Oettinger spoke of a "horrible and in no way explainable crime". He also expressed his condolences to the victims, students and families. "This has touched all of Baden-Württemberg. The school, the town, the future, education, and raising children – to destroy these things like that is especially cruel." The European Parliament held a minute of silence to honour the dead. An ecumenical Church service was held in Winnenden the evening of the shooting, with Protestant, Catholic, and Muslim clerics officiating. All German flags were flown on half-staff until 13 March, in memorial of the victims.
In the days following the event, some politicians called for legal consequences, including a total prohibition of all shooting video games, better monitoring of gun club members, a directive to have all ammunition deposited with police, and a provision to have gun club members store their weapons at the club house. Others dismissed such demands as "placebos".
The families of five victims wrote an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel, President Horst Köhler, and Baden-Württemberg Minister President Günther Oettinger with demands for consequences. They called for a prohibition on youths' access to guns in gun clubs, less violence on TV, and a prohibition of violent video games. They also called for reporting of these incidents without highlighting the perpetrator, so as to minimize the chance of copycats.
The German government passed legislation in June 2009 to improve handgun security with an electronic nationwide weapons registry, increased age limitations for large-calibre weapons, and unannounced, random inspections in gun-owner homes to ensure requirements for locked gun storage were met. Obligatory biometric security systems should be introduced once technically feasible.
In May 2009, Germany announced plans to ban games such as paintball on the grounds that they "trivialise and encourage violence". The legislature did not ban fighting games such as paintball, gotcha and laserdrome; did not limit the number of guns owned and did not pass a requirement to store guns with shooting clubs or restrictions regarding ammunition storage in private households.
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The Albertville-Realschule is one of seven secondary schools and one of the two Realschules in Winnenden in the Rems-Murr-Kreis in Baden-Württemberg. It gained notoriety because of the Winnenden school shooting that occurred on March 11, 2009.
The Schule was previously called Realschule Winnenden I im Bildungszentrum II and was renamed Albertville-Realschule after the twinning with Albertville in the French Alps in 1980. 580 pupils in 20 classed were lectured by 32 teachers at the Realschule in 2009.The school has been offering a student exchange program with the Collège La Combe de Savoie in Albertville since 1981 und with the Vörösmarty Mihaly Gimnázium in Budapest since 2007.
On March 11, 2009, a 17-year-old apprentice and former student of the school ran amok in the school, killing twelve people, including nine students and three teachers, before fleeing. After killing three pedestrians, the shooter committed suicide after having a brief shootout with police.Albertville (disambiguation)
Albertville may refer to:
Kalemie in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, formerly known as Albertville
Winnenden school shooting, which took place in a Realschule called AlbertvilleEmsdetten
Emsdetten (Westphalian: Detten) is a town in the district of Steinfurt, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.Emsdetten school shooting
The Emsdetten school shooting was a school shooting that occurred at the Geschwister Scholl-Schule in Emsdetten, Germany on 20 November 2006. Eighteen-year-old former student Sebastian Bosse shot and wounded five people and set off several smoke bombs before committing suicide.
Even though there were no fatalities besides that of the gunman, the shooting was at one point considered to be the worst school shooting in the history of Germany since the Erfurt massacre, in which 17 people, including the perpetrator, were killed. This position is now held by the 2009 Winnenden school shooting, which left 16 people dead, including the perpetrator.Eppstein school shooting
The Eppstein school shooting was a school shooting that occurred on 3 June 1983 at the Freiherr-vom-Stein Gesamtschule in Eppstein-Vockenhausen, West Germany. The gunman, 34-year-old Czech refugee Karel Charva, fatally shot three students, a teacher and a police officer and injured another 14 people using two semi-automatic pistols, before committing suicide.The shooting remains the fifth-deadliest of its kind in post-war Germany, after the Erfurt massacre in 2002, the Winnenden school shooting in 2009, the 2016 Munich shooting and the Cologne school massacre in 1964.Erfurt school massacre
The Erfurt massacre was a school massacre that occurred on 26 April 2002 at the Gutenberg-Gymnasium in the Thuringia State capital Erfurt, Germany. (A German Gymnasium is a secondary school similar to a US High School or English Secondary School.) The gunman, 19-year-old expelled student Robert Steinhäuser shot and killed 16 people: 13 staff members, two students, and one police officer, before committing suicide. One person was also wounded by a bullet fragment.Imageboard
An imageboard or image board is a type of Internet forum which operates mostly via posting images. The first imageboards were created in Japan, and inspired the creation of a number of English language imageboards. They are based on the textboard concept.Video game content rating system
A video game content rating system is a system used for the classification of video games into suitability-related groups. Most of these systems are associated with and/or sponsored by a government, and are sometimes part of the local motion picture rating system. The utility of such ratings has been called into question by studies that publish findings such as 90% of teenagers claim that their parents "never" check the ratings before allowing them to rent or buy video games, and as such calls have been made to "fix" the existing rating systems. Video game content rating systems can be used as the basis for laws that cover the sales of video games to minors, such as in Australia. Rating checking and approval is part of the game localization when they are being prepared for their distribution in other countries or locales. These rating systems have also been used to voluntarily restrict sales of certain video games by stores, such as the German retailer Galeria Kaufhof's removal of all video games rated 18+ by the USK following the Winnenden school shooting.