12 Mar 2009

Teenage gunman kills 15 at German school

6:02 am on 12 March 2009

A teenage gunman has gone on a shooting spree at his former school in southwest Germany , killing up to 15 people before dying in a shootout with police.

The former student, 17, dressed in black combat gear, entered the Albertville-Realschule in Winnenden, near Stuttgart, at around 9.30am (0830 GMT) on Wednesday.

Police said he killed nine students and three teachers, as well as a person at a nearby clinic, before leaving with a hostage in a car.

He was killed in a shootout with police at a car dealership about 30km from the school. Two passers-by died in the shootout and two policemen were seriously wounded, bringing the total death toll to 16 including the gunman.

It was not clear whether the gunman had been shot by police or taken his own life.

Previous incidents

In 2006, a masked man armed with rifles and explosives attacked a school in the western town of Emsdetten, wounding at least 11 people before committing suicide.

In April 2002, a gunman killed 17 people, including himself, at a high school in the eastern city of Erfurt.