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German warned of "barbecue" on eve of shootings
Thu Mar 12, 2009 4:13pm EDT
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By Nicola Leske
WINNENDEN, Germany (Reuters) - A teenager who killed 15 people in a shooting rampage in Germany on Wednesday warned in a chatroom the night before that he planned to go to his former school with weapons and stage a "proper barbecue."
In a chatroom discussion with another 17-year-old in Bavaria on the eve of the shooting spree, Tim Kretschmer gave an explicit warning of his deadly plan, said Heribert Rech, interior minister of the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
"I've had enough," Rech quoted from the chatroom message.
"Always the same. Everybody's laughing at me. No one sees my potential. I'm serious. I have weapons and I will go to my former school in the morning and have a proper barbecue. Maybe I'll get away. Listen out. You will hear of me tomorrow. Remember the place's name: Winnenden."
Rech told reporters that Kretschmer's chatroom partner had not taken the message seriously at the time but had told his father after he saw reports of the shootings.
Kretschmer, described by neighbors as a loner with a fondness for violent videos, shot dead 12 people at his old school in the southern town of Winnenden and three more outside before turning the gun on himself when police cornered him.
Officials revealed on Thursday that Kretschmer had received psychiatric treatment for depression between April and September, before breaking off the sessions.
The motive for the attack remained unclear, although he seems to have targeted women. Eight of the nine students and all three of the teachers he killed in the school were female.
Investigators said on Thursday they had found pornographic pictures on his computer as well as violent video games.
GUNS FROM FATHER
Weeping students placed flowers, and candles at their school on Thursday, struggling to come to terms with a massacre that robbed them of classmates and teachers.
"I don't know if I can stay at this school. Every time you enter, the memories come back," said student Christin Pluengel.
Kretschmer fired 112 rounds, 60 in the school, and had 109 unused rounds with him when his body was found.
German authorities are looking into whether to press charges against his father, a member of a shooting club who had 15 guns and 4,600 rounds of ammunition at home.
Kretschmer shot many of his victims in the head at close range with his father's legally-registered 9-millimetre Beretta pistol. Continued...
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