German Gunman 'Totally Normal Teen'

Classmates say school shooter was shy but never seemed strange
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2009 2:40 AM CDT
A big black cross is seen on a house in Winnenden, southern Germany, Friday, March 13, 2009, two days after a gunman killed nine pupils and three teachers in a nearby school.    (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
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(Newser) – The 17-year-old who calmly gunned down his former classmates and teachers in Germany this week before taking his own life seemed like a normal teenager, Der Spiegel reports. Tim Kretschmer was inconspicuous and shy, schoolmates say, but he wasn't a loner and wasn't considered strange. Police say they have searched in vain for a farewell letter explaining the shooting spree that killed 15.

"Tim was never aggressive or conspicuous," said one former classmate. "He was simply normal—just like everyone else. I felt like I had been struck by lightning when I heard that he did it. For years I saw him every day, every day! Who would have thought that he had a ticking time bomb inside him?"