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TRAGEDY IN WINNENDEN

CRIME

Teen killer promised bloodbath on internet

The teenage gunman who murdered 15 people in southwestern Germany announced his intention to create a bloodbath just hours beforehand in an internet chatroom, a state official said on Thursday.

Teen killer promised bloodbath on internet
Photo: DPA

Tim Kretschmer told another boy that he was sick of his life, had weapons and was going to take revenge at his former school, the night before he shot nine students and three teachers dead.

After fleeing the scene, he hijacked a car and went on to kill three other people before apparently committing suicide while in firefight with police.

“Shit, I’ve had enough, I am sick of this crappy life,” the frustrated teen wrote at around 2:45 am on Wednesday on online forum krautchan.net, Heribert Rech, Baden-Württemberg’s interior minister said at a press conference.

“It is always the same, they all laugh at me all the time, no-one realises my potential. I’m serious Bernd, I have weapons and will go to my old school and really burn them up. I might get out alive, but you will certainly hear about me tomorrow. Remember the name Winnenden.”

But then realising he might have given away too much of his plans he said: “Don’t call the police. I’m just being a troll.”

Click here for a photo gallery of the incident.

The 17-year-old boy in the neighbouring state of Bavaria with whom he was chatting did not believe him and answered simply ‘LOL’ – meaning ‘laugh out loud.’ He only alerted his father to the online exchange after hearing news of the school massacre the following day.

Treated for depression

Authorities also revealed on Thursday that Kretschmer had been having extensive psychiatric treatment for depression, including several sessions in a hospital, but had broken off the following out-patient treatment several months ago.

And it emerged that Kretschmer’s father not only had more than a dozen guns in the family home, but also 4,600 rounds of ammunition. The teenager had taken more than 200 rounds with him when he left the house on Wednesday morning, along with his father’s Beretta 9mm pistol.

Of these, he fired 60 in the school, a further nine outside and then 44 more when he was cornered by police in the nearby town of Wendlingen.

An amateur video of the gunman’s final moments also surfaced online on Thursday, after a bystander apparently filmed Kretschmer’s shoot-out with the police in a car parking lot.

The grainy video shows him firing at officers before kneeling down. An edited version then skips to him lying dead on the ground as police swarm around him. Kretschmer was reportedly hit in the leg by the police, which caused him to turn his gun on himself.

Speaking of Kretschmer’s extensive experience with guns, Rech said the father had often taken his son to the local shooting club. “The culprit was practiced in the use of firearms,” he said. Earlier reports suggested many of the victims had been accurately shot in the head.

The state prosecutor Siegfried Mahler even suggested that Kretschmer’s father could be investigated for manslaughter if it emerged that the teenager had previously talked of shooting people.

One of the businessman’s many guns had not been stored in a locked cupboard, which would normally be a minor offence, but could be taken much more seriously if it were to be shown that Tim was known to present a danger.

Outwardly normal

But Mahler said that outwardly Kretschmer had been regarded as a normal, if quiet and withdrawn boy, who had nonetheless been seen by neighbours as friendly. “He did not have many friendships, but he did have some,” said Mahler. “And for some time he was interested in a local girl, even if this had not led to a close friendship.”

He said detectives had examined Kretschmer’s computer overnight and had found a number of violent computer games, which Mahler stressed, were commonly played by boys of that age.

Kretschmer had been training with weights over the last three years, said Mahler, and had been arm-wrestling in order to build up his upper body strength for table tennis, which he played with his father.

His father had also encouraged his love of shooting and built him a shooting range in the cellar for him to practice, said Mahler.

State police chief Erwin Hetger said six threats of further massacres had been received by police in the state, and a school in Freiburg had even been evacuated.

A 22-year-old student in Halberstadt was given a five-month suspended sentence on Thursday, after admitting to threatening a rampage at his vocational school early in the morning.

GERMANY AND ISRAEL

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.

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