Rampage in Heidelberg: The question of why

Status: 01/25/2022 06:12 p.m

The investigators in Heidelberg are still looking for the motive of the 18-year-old who shot at students. To do this, they examine his surroundings and evaluate his digital devices. The three injured were able to leave the hospital.

After the killing spree at Heidelberg University, the three injured students were released from the hospital after outpatient treatment. “You are on the mend,” police said.

On Monday, a student shot at students several times in a lecture hall. A 19- and a 20-year-old woman and a 20-year-old man were slightly injured by the gunshots. A 23-year-old student died after being shot in the head. The 18-year-old attacker directed himself after the fact in front of the building in Neuenheimer Feld.

One dead and three injured after rampage at Heidelberg University

Jenni Rieger, SWR, daily topics 10:40 p.m., January 24, 2022

Digital devices are evaluated

The investigators are still looking for the man’s motive and are examining the student’s environment. The police are also evaluating digital devices that the special task force (SEK) seized during the search of his apartment. Baden-W├╝rttemberg’s Interior Minister Thomas Strobl said he was confident that the evaluation could provide clues as to the motives. The two corpses are examined by forensic experts at the Heidelberg University Hospital.

The shooter was only 18 years old and German, he lived in Mannheim, studied biology and had never been noticed by the police. As the dpa news agency reports, citing police circles, he came from Berlin. There is no evidence of a politically or religiously motivated act, said Strobl.

Deed announced via WhatsApp

Just a few minutes after receiving the emergency calls on Monday, the perpetrator’s father contacted the police and informed the officers that his son had announced the crime to him via WhatsApp. According to the police, the student wrote “that people now have to be punished”.

Strobl was unable to say exactly when the son’s message reached the father. Now is the time for investigators, emphasized the minister. He is certain that it will be possible to bring light into the darkness quickly. An investigative team with 32 officials has started work.

Weapons apparently bought abroad

The question of how the biology student got hold of the two long guns, one of which he used for the killing spree, is still unanswered. The 18-year-old is said to have bought the guns abroad a few days ago. He still had 100 rounds of ammunition in his backpack.

The Baden-W├╝rttemberg state head of the German police union, Ralf Kusterer, said that a bolt-action rifle and a shotgun are weapons that are not easy to handle, which are mostly used by hunters and are almost impossible to purchase legally for others in Germany.

Funeral service next Monday

At the same time, the focus is on the victims, their families and those who had to witness the attack. 30 students were in the classroom when the shots rang out. The Heidelberg student representation commemorates the killed student with a digital commemoration. A central funeral service is planned for next Monday in the Peterskirche in Heidelberg.

“This terrible act of violence really hit and shook us,” said Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann. He and Strobl called on those affected to seek psychological help. 26 students and two relatives have already been approached, reported Strobl and added: “The university should and will remain a fear-free space for young people.”


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