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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.

CRIME

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

A 50-year-old German man was jailed for life Tuesday for shooting dead a petrol station cashier because he was angry about being told to wear a mask while buying beer.

German man jailed for killing petrol station worker in mask row

The September 2021 murder in the western town of Idar-Oberstein shocked Germany, which saw a vocal anti-mask and anti-vaccine movement emerge in response to the government’s coronavirus restrictions.

The row started when 20-year-old student worker Alex W. asked the man to put on a mask inside the shop, as required in all German stores at the time.

After a brief argument, the man left.

The perpetrator – identified only as Mario N. – returned about an hour and a half later, this time wearing a mask. But as he bought his six-pack of beer to the till, he took off his mask and another argument ensued.

He then pulled out a revolver and shot the cashier in the head point-blank.

On Tuesday, the district court in Bad-Kreuznach convicted Mario N. of murder and unlawful possession of a firearm, and handed him a life sentence.

READ ALSO: Shock in Germany after cashier shot dead in Covid mask row

Under German law, people given a life sentence can usually seek parole after 15 years. His defence team had sought a sentence of manslaughter, rather than murder.

At the start of the trial, prosecutor Nicole Frohn told how Mario N. had felt increasingly angry about the measures imposed to curb the pandemic, seeing them as an infringement on his rights.

“Since he knew he couldn’t reach the politicians responsible, he decided to kill him (Alex W.),” she said.

Mario N. turned himself in to police the day after the shooting.

German has relaxed most of its coronavirus rules, although masks are still required in some settings, such as public transport.

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