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No homicide charge for father of Winnenden killer

DDP/The Local · 6 May 2010, 12:08

Published: 06 May 2010 12:08 GMT+02:00

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A spokeswoman for the court in Stuttgart said Kretschmer’s father, a 51-year-old businessman, would instead face prosecution for enabling his son to get access to his weapons cache, along with ammunition.

But there were not sufficient grounds to charge him with negligent homicide, as prosecutors in the state of Baden-Württemberg had previously planned.

Last March, Tim Kretschmer, 17, used his father’s 9mm Beretta pistol in a school shooting rampage that left nine pupils and three teachers dead, mostly with execution-style shots to the head. A further three people lost their lives in a dramatic chase and shoot-out with police before, cornered, Kretschmer turned the gun on himself.

State prosecutors charged Kretschmer’s father in November with 15 cases of negligent homicide and a further 13 cases of negligently causing injury, on the grounds that he had left the gun and ammunition unsecured in his bedroom. He legally kept more than a dozen weapon in the family home.

But the Stuttgart court has now ruled that negligent homicide and injury charges could be considered only if the father's conduct had directly caused the massacre.

Story continues below…

The court decided it could not rule out the possibility that Kretschmer would also have committed the crime if the gun, magazine and ammunition had been properly secured in the weapons cabinet. There was substantial evidence that Kretschmer knew the security combination to the cabinet, it said.

A date for the trial on lesser charges had not yet been set.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

14:19 May 6, 2010 by NYsteve
2X in as many days...the German authorites show their wisdom.....don't get me wrong....the 17 year old who commited this act should be tried and convicted to the FULLEST extent of the law, but we have to remember, the father's gun was technically stolen from him. The father should not be charged if the weapon was locked away as stated in the article.

What I don't and probably never will understand is why an act like this or Colombine or many others like it here in the US or in the world are commited. Is it a mental "imbalance".....excessive aggression......I don't know. I don't even know if some type of education when kids are young would help. Even tho the US was founded on many rights, such as the right to bear arms...I have never owned a firearm of any kind. I served 8 years in the Marine Corps and know very well how to use one, but don't feel the need to own a gun.

MY deepest and most profound sympathies to all the families affected by this....it is an act that never should have happened. I hope we can learn something and apply it but as Geo. Bernard Shaw said..."what history teaches us is that we don't learn from history"
23:30 May 6, 2010 by Logic Guy
Well, this particular story is the most disturbing I've heard from Germany in a long time. Most of them were innocent young girls. I'm sure many parents are still struggling with this.

Although I try to avoid the blame game, I will however say that someone has to be held responsible. Society simply can not allow teenagers to continue doing this.

Gun ownership is right, for adults. There must be changes in how teenagers gain access to them, otherwise there will surely be other cases like this one.
21:23 May 8, 2010 by starviego
This shooting was a covert op. The real killers were part of the sonderkommando rescue squad, not the kid/patsy, as per the eyewitness reports:

"The teen gunman burst into class 9C wearing a combat suit designed for german special forces troops and a SK4-Schutz bullet-proof vest, and carrying a Beretta pistol."

"There was a prelude, of that I am certain. We heard a siren even before the first shots were fired. We were in front of the school at 9:30am. We heard the sirens right before 9:45am. A couple of seconds later the first two cop cars showed up. They ripped open the door, they had assualt rifles in their hands. They stormed the building and threw us out. As they entered we heard the first shots. If the cops say that all the victims were dead before they entered, that can't be right. We were there until 10:05am when the reinforcements came and we were moved to the evacuation zone in Wunnebad. All this time we heard only two shots. With that you can't kill that many victims."
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