Germany: One Killed, Three Injured in Shooting at Heidelberg University

Germany Europe Higher Education News by Erudera News Jan 25, 2022

Crime Scene

At least one person was killed, and three were injured in a shooting inside a lecture hall at Heidelberg University on the Im Neuenheimer Feld campus in southwestern Germany.

The gunman was an 18-year-old German student studying biology at Heidelberg University who also died after turning the gun on himself. Authorities have not identified a motive for the shooting, Erudera.com reports.

“A lone perpetrator injured several people in a lecture hall with a long gun. The perpetrator is dead,” Mannheim police said in a statement, adding that the perpetrator did not have any criminal record in Germany.

Heidelberg’s President Bernhard Eitel told the media that the shooting occurred during a chemistry class for bioscience students. The gunman entered the hall filled with 30 people at 12:24 p.m. (local time).

The police assume that the student acted alone, firing shots around the amphitheater. He was found dead outside the building at 12:51 p.m.

During a news conference, the Mannheim police chief Siegfried Kollmar said that investigators have learned that the student had sent a WhatsApp text message before firing shots saying that “people have to be punished now” and asking to be buried at sea and not a cemetery.

According to the current state of affairs, no international students were affected during the incident, while the university leadership said that they are making all preparations to provide psychological support for those who have been affected.

“In spite of all the consternation and concern for the students and staff who had to witness this act, the university leadership is currently doing everything in its power to support the police authorities in solving the crime.” the university stressed.

Police in Mannheim noted that some 400 police officers were on the scene at the time of the incident. They indicated that there is no longer a dangerous situation on campus.

About 160,000 people live in Heidelberg, which is considered a university city. Heidelberg University was established in 1386, and according to its website, it is Germany’s oldest university and one of the strongest research universities across Europe. The total number of students enrolled at the university in winter 2021/22 is 29,187 students, 54.7 percent females, and 17.8 percent international students.

Germany has some of the strictest gun laws in Europe, and access to guns is regulated by the German Weapons Act. Individuals under 25 need to pass a psychological assessment before getting a gun license.

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