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Winnenden shooter's father faces court

The Local · 16 Sep 2010, 15:56

Published: 16 Sep 2010 08:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Sep 2010 15:56 GMT+02:00

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In March 2009, the 17-year-old Kretschmer 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 Kretschmer turned the gun on himself.

Baden-Württemberg state prosecutors charged Kretschmer’s father in November 2009 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 weapons in the family home.

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

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.

However, on Thursday the prosecution said it would still push the court to consider charges of negligent manslaughter and negligent bodily harm, which many victims' family members have said they want.

A lawyer for the co-plaintiffs said his clients were looking for the father to offer an unambiguous admission of his guilt.

"They want a clear apology, a clear acknowledgement of his mistake," Jens Rabe told Stern magazine's online edition.

Some relatives of those killed said the trial was not about settling scores but about discovering how much Tim's parents knew about their son's psychological problems.

"It is not about revenge," said Hardy Schober, who lost his 15-year-old daughter in the bloodbath. "The truth must come to light, no matter how painful it is," he told the Frankfurter Rundschau.

Story continues below…

Gisela Mayer, the mother of one of the victims, told rolling news channel N24: "I want to see who he is, because I think he is also a father and he wanted to bring up a son, not a mass murderer."

According to the court, there are 41 joint plaintiffs and 19 representatives taking part in the trial. Over the course of 27 days, the court will hear testimony from 40 witnesses, among them police officers, doctors, survivors and relatives of victims.

Several psychiatric and medical experts will also be called to testify.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:13 September 16, 2010 by Simon_Kellett
If found guilty I really hope he gets the book thrown at him, partly for a crime committed, and partly as a warning to all gun owners.
09:28 September 16, 2010 by moistvelvet
Did you not read the article, it said;

"There was substantial evidence that Kretschmer knew the security combination to the cabinet"

So even if he had secured the gun away they can't rule out the possibility that Tim could've still got the gun and go on a rampage.
11:14 September 16, 2010 by catjones
"court decided it could not rule out the possibility that Kretschmer would also have committed the crime"

another example of the clairvoyant german courts.
08:11 September 17, 2010 by hOU
Germany MUST make handgun ownership illegal.

No "ifs", no "buts".

This is not the Wild West, there are no arguments worth hearing contrary to banning them.
19:17 September 17, 2010 by fair1day
"Germany MUST make handgun ownership illegal." 08:11 September 17, 2010 by hOU

Banning them just makes the bad guys use illegal weapons.

Where is the logic?

Europeans are goofy. He used a car too. It's a weapon too. Poor, poor logic at best.
08:32 September 18, 2010 by toemag
As to the killjoy ban hammer wielding libtards, haven't you got any other suggestions on how to deal with such situations?? The reason why the FDP were elected has obviously escaped your attention, yes they were the only party who pledged to keep the WaffG. sane if they were elected, yes I know "ban the FDP".

It is a bit of a paradox, when I was Tim's age I was taking the Queens shilling and carrying a firearm on a daily basis, it was expected of me to use that same said weapon to protect myself and my comrades, oh and kill any enemies of her Majesty.

People kill people, be it with butterfly knives or ninja throwing stars (which have been banned as they are obviously akin to WMD's), or poison, axes, hammers, knives, sharp pointy sticks and cars but to name just a few, still lots of other things out there to be banned. Or lets just ban stupidity, and intolerance in all its forms.
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