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State: school shooting killer mother must pay

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State: school shooting killer mother must pay
16:39 CEST+02:00
German lawyers have said they will demand millions of euros in damages from the mother of a boy who killed himself and 14 people and injured a further 14 in a school shooting in 2009, for what they say was a breach of duty on her part.

The mother of Tim Kretschmer, the then 17-year-old boy who opened fire at his school in Winnenden in Baden-Württemberg in March 2009, will be asked to pay €9.3 million in damages for her role in the tragedy, the Stuttgarter Zeitung said over the weekend.

Four years after the incident, authorities are now claiming that the killer's mother shared responsibility for the murders along with his father, who was sentenced in 2011 to 15 counts of manslaughter through culpable negligence after he was found to have left a weapon in an unlocked cupboard in the couple's bedroom.

The gun was her shared responsibility, say claimants, and she committed a breach of duty because she knew her son had psychological problems at the time of the shooting.

The claim comes from local authorities in Winnenden, which together with the regional state accident insurance company paid out for restoring and reopening the Albertville-Realschule school following the incident, as well as for renting a replacement building in the interim and seeing to psychological treatment for survivors.

The mother's lawyer Erik Silcher told the paper there is no proof of breach of duty, in that she could not have been expected to have kept an eye on her then 17-year-old boy day and night. His client will fight the compensation demands, added Silcher.

Meanwhile, wrote the paper, the killer's parents, who now live under police protection programme, are hoping to sue the clinic in Weinsberg which had been treating their son Tim at the time of the shooting for €8.8 million – money they say will go straight to the relatives of the dead and injured.

DPA/The Local/jlb

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