12 Mar 2009

Most of gunman's targets were female

10:01 am on 12 March 2009

Police in Germany say most of the schoolchildren killed by a teenage gunman in the southern town of Winnenden, were girls.

Nine pupils - eight of them girls - and three female teachers were shot dead at the Albertville secondary school in Winnenden, near Stuttgart, at around 9.30am (0830 GMT) on Wednesday.

Tim Kretschmer, 17, a former pupil, fled in a hijacked car. He killed three more bystanders before dying in a shoot-out with police.

Police said he stole the gun he used from his father, a member of a marksmen's club who kept 18 pistols and rifles at home. All but one of them were locked in a safe.

The total death toll was 16 including the gunman.

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.