Shooting at school in Southern Germany

CNN is reporting 10 dead, more wounded at Albertville Real Schule (school) in Winnenden, Germany, a town somewhat NE of Stuttgart. The shooter has not been located and is thought to be a 17 year old former student.

Link to story on BBC News

Link to school website(in German)

Now reporting 15 dead total, plus the shooter.

Aw, crap. What a horrible thing. Why do people do this?

Crap crap crap. Let me add ‘Amoklauf’ to my list of things to worry about, now that my son’s in Gymnasium.

It’s not healthy or productive to worry about things beyond your control. The odds of anything like this ever happening with your son are beyond infinitesmal. Horror stories like this just help remind me to let my children know that I love them all the more often and treasure each moment with them.

BTW, I am just about 20 or so kilometers south of where this is occuring, so it has our attention as much as possible during the work day.

Looks like he carried on shooting after hiding out in a supermarkets 20km away. :frowning:

I wonder why Germany / Finland are getting more of these events than France or Spain (or the UK).

Just what I was hoping! Oh, not the shooting, but that Dopers from that area would chime in. I am a German teacher in Illinois, and would really like to have my German students write cards/letters of sympathy and support to the students there. The school website has been taken down, and I would love to get an address. Could someone reply with the address or pm me??

The address of the school (as per the municipial web site at is:

Albertviller Straße 32
71364 Winnenden

Earlier incidents insipire new ones, simple as that. It’s a crap-shoot where the “first” shooting spree occurs, but once it does, imitators are aroused. The Finnish school shooters were even in some (Internet) conctact with each other, for instance.

You know, I don’t know anything about the gun laws in Germany. How’d he get his gun? What kind of restrictions are there, there? I think it’d be kind of educational to contrast and compare, here, allowing for the inherent differences in culture.

I don’t know. How do all the murderers in Washington, DC get their guns? How do all of the murderers in handgun-free Chicago get their guns?

How do people get weed, coke, heroin? How do they get child pornography? How do they get black-market bootleg High School Musical 3 DVDs?

Shit, I mean, all this stuff is supposed to be illegal, so how the fuck is anyone getting it? And, for the love of God, it’s illegal to commit murder - how can people be doing it?



I read in today’s paper (International Herald Tribune) that the handgun came from his father’s collection of 15 guns; his father is a member of a shooting club and all the guns were owned legally. All of the others were locked up in a safe. This gun had been stored in a bedroom.

What I find odd so far is that the boy had finished school last year – why on earth would he have wanted to go back to do this terrible thing a year later? Maybe I’m trying to impose rationality on a fundamentally irrational phenomenon, but in my mind, it would make some sort of sense if he had still been in school and attacked people who were part of his present life situation. If I recall correctly, the shooter in Erfurt seven years ago had been under tremendous pressure in school and had either left or been kicked out without telling his family, then went back after a couple of weeks with a gun. Terrible, terrible, but it can form a coherent story. But this? Surely there are more details and explanations that will crop up, but right now, I’m mystified, and that’s awfully frightening.

ShibbOleth, you’re absolutely right, of course. It wouldn’t do to get panicked about what is fortunately an extremely unusual occurrence and jump at every shadow. I suppose it’s bringing all the uncertainty and dangers of the years to come to the fore – my son is 12 years old and in the 6th grade, and I’m starting to think about all of the hurdles of the teen years: drugs; cigarettes (actually, I think I’ve done a good job of indoctrinating my children against smoking, but only time will tell); bad influences; sexuality and all the perils that come with it, both emotional and physical; not to mention the simple wretched fact that I’ll be living with a teenager. Gah, I remember my own teenage years too vividly to be calm that my kids have to get through that stage themselves.

So this just adds one more item to the list of worries, and throws the fundamental reality into sharper relief: I cannot protect my children from the world. All manner of bad things can and will happen to them at some point, and I can’t make that not be true. I don’t want to keep them from living their lives, and I don’t want to wrap them in bubblewrap (although, really, let’s be honest – bubblewrap = fun), but it’s hard.

Thanks, tschild!

that doesn’t work really well for Germany, though; the previous well-publicized incident that was similar took place in Erfurt, which is pretty far from this place. Also, this happened years ago, in 2002, when this guy was 10 years old. So that effect must be pretty slim. Other school shootings in other countries are pretty well-publicized, though, so this guy must have heard of Columbine, the thing in Belgium, the shootings in Finland and all that. But that does not explain why this would only happen in Germany or Finland. Personally, I believe this is mostly just coincedence at least in the German case; This is not more likely to happen in a German school than in other places in Europe as far as I can tell. Please, though, don’t let it happen here, at least not until my brother finishes high school which’ll be in another couple of months!

Much less likely to happen in the UK where the father could not legally have a gun collection let alone left one lying around in the night stand.

Unfortunately that does nothing to stop the gang-banging and associated shooting of innocent bystanders in criminal turf wars in some of our worst inner city areas. Or the stabbings.

But an unbalanced teen with some sort of psychotic grudge against his former school would not have such convenient and easy access to a gun.

I think you mean to say handgun. People in the UK are still allowed to own shotguns for hunting purposes, no?

Spiegel Online has this screenshot at an unnamed chat site from the day before the shooting:

I am really going out on a limb here, but he might have drawn a connection with graduating this particular school (a Realschule, the middle tier of schools, preparing for an apprenticeship in a low-qualified white-collar job or a highly-qualified blue-collar job) and his disaffection. His father is variously reported as owner or general manager of a large local firm (150 employees), and graduating from a Realschule rather than going to a Gymnasium might have made him feel a failure in life (at age 17!), probably without talking with anyone about it in those terms.

I just saw this on the Belgian news. Is that screenshot confirmed to be real?

I would think this is a huge troll (it comes from what seems to be a German 4chan clone), OTOH the German police and international media seem to believe it’s real… I don’t know what to think anymore.

The police now states that there is no evidence for the post (on being genuine, and the people running the site say it’s a photoshopped fake.