15 Dead, Gunman Killed After German School Shooting

By Caroline Miller,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2009 8:37 AM CDT
German Special Police Forces leave the Albertville school in Winnenden near Stuttgart, Germany, Wednesday, March 11, 2009, after a gunman opened fire on students and teachers.    (AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle)
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(Newser) – Fifteen people are dead after a 17-year-old went on a shooting spree at his former school in southern Germany; the gunman died hours later during a shootout in a nearby town. The assailant killed at least 11 people, mostly students, at the school before driving away. He then barricaded himself in a shopping center and began firing at police and bystanders. It remains unclear whether the gunman was shot dead by police or killed himself, reports the BBC.

The shooting took place in Winnenden, a suburb of Stuttgart, at a school with about 1000 children in attendance. Eyewitnesses described students jumping from the windows to escape the attack. A police spokesman said that the killer "just opened fire indiscriminately." German media report that his father is a prosperous businessman and that his parents owned 18 licensed firearms.