Germany: an attack in a university leaves one dead and three injured

UA young woman died in the shooting which broke out on Monday January 24, 2022 in an amphitheater at the University of Heidelberg (South-West), learned Agence France-Presse from a German security source. While neither the identity nor the motives of the shooter have been made public, Prime Minister Olaf Scholz expressed his “dismay”.

The attack occurred shortly after noon: a man entered, armed with a rifle, an amphitheater on the Neuenheimer Feld campus, where a course was being held, and opened fire “around him”, visibly without particular target, said Mannheim police spokesman Stefan Wilhelm. Four people were shot, including the young girl who died in hospital. The attacker then walked outside the building and “committed suicide” on the campus, police said.

According to information from the public broadcaster Südwestrundfunk (SWR), the university has asked its students by email not to go to the campus in the Neuenheimer Feld district for the moment. However, there would be “no more imminent threat”, according to SWR. This university site, on the north bank of the Neckar river, notably hosts faculties of natural sciences, departments of the university hospital center and the botanical garden.

Bloody precedents

German firearms laws were tightened after two attacks on schools in the eastern city of Erfurt in April 2002 and in the southern city of Winnenden. West, in March 2009. The country now has one of the strictest laws in Europe, requiring anyone under the age of 25 to pass a psychiatric examination before applying for a gun license. .

In 2016 in Munich, nine people were killed when the maniac David Ali Sonboly opened fire in a shopping center. At least 35 people were also injured in the attack, which began at a McDonald’s and ended when the shooter turned his 9mm Glock pistol on himself.

The Munich assault had sparked a heated debate in the country over whether to tighten gun laws again. Germany has also been affected in recent years by jihadist attacks and attacks by far-right militants.

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